Monitoring blood pressure during travels can be vital, especially for those with a history of heart disease or hypertension. The new Withings Wireless Blood Pressure monitor is a compact arm cuff that works with your Bluetooth-enabled iOS or Android device to measure, display, and track systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate — three key metrics of heart health. (The monitor also comes with a USB adaptor, though you must supply your own cable).
Pairing with your smartphone via Bluetooth is easy once you’ve installed the Withings Health Mate application (free at the iTunes Store or Google Play), and set up a user ID, password, and age/gender/height/weight profile. Then, wrap the cuff around your arm, lining up the BP reader’s metal tube mechanism along your bicep; lock the monitor in place via the integrated Velcro tabs, and press the cuff’s “on” button — which will automatically launch the Health Mate app on your smartphone.
When you tap the green start button inside the app, the cuff will begin inflating and slowly deflating as it takes its readings, stops, then displays your measurements in a simple vertical line-up — all in less than a minute. Colored dots next to the numbers indicate how you rate, compared to population standards. Green means optimal, orange indicates elevated readings, and red warns of possible hypertension. Readings can be saved, displayed in graph form to track changes over time, and emailed to your doctor or relayed to other health data bases. You can even post them on Facebook or Twitter, if you’re so inclined.
The blood pressure monitor runs on 4 included AAA batteries. Minimum system requirements: iOS 6 or Android 4.0. The app works with tablets but is not optimized for them.
Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is $129.95 at www.vitrine.withings.com/US/.