Why should I check my blood pressure at home? Is taking your blood pressure at home better than in the doctor’s office? Is there an app for that? Today’s discussion of Top 5 Things to know about Home Blood Pressure Monitoring is brought to you by Omron Healthcare.
Did you know that May is National Stroke Awareness month? In order to avoid strokes and heart attacks, I have been trying out the Omron EVOLV, a portable, wireless upper-arm blood pressure monitor that is clinically validated for accuracy and has received FDA clearance. With no tubes, wires or tabletop unit, the new sleek, one-piece EVOLV blood pressure monitor easily fits on the upper arm and clearly displays a blood pressure reading on the face of the device with a press of a button.
This is my third blog post about the Omron EVOLV. In my first article, I took the Going for Zero Pledge, where I pledged to exercise, eat smart, kick the habits, stifle the stress and monitor my blood pressure regularly. In my second blog post, I explored the question “Where can I find an easy to use at-home blood pressure monitor?”
What Surprised Me about Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
When using the Omron EVOLV and the related Omron Connect App, I learned quite a bit about taking home blood pressure monitoring and getting good readings. I may have done each of these things (more than once with several!) :
- You can’t wave your arm around when you are taking your blood pressure, you need to have your arm resting on the table. Arm waving=poor reading Good news? You can delete bad readings.
- See #1
- Don’t kill the app during the transferring process because your internet is taking its sweet time. Killing the app (turning it off) during the transferring process can lead to data loss.
- If you take a reading twice because you push the wrong button and it records to your app, you can easily delete that reading. (see red trash can in photo below) Took me awhile to realize this. (See #6)
- If you have a accurate “Elevated” reading (versus one caused by operator error), or one falls in the “Pre-hypertensive” range or “Hypertensive” range, you can make add a note (see photo above) to indicate what was going on at the time. It will help you avoid some situations that are causing blood pressure elevation. Even more importantly, your doctor will be able to use this information to help you manage your blood pressure. My blood pressure usually runs in the normal range but I am enjoying checking it often as I have two children getting married this year…can you say STRESS?
- Read the directions for the unit. This is so helpful. The Omron EVOLV is a very easy unit to use and it does almost guide you through the process but reading the directions saves you time and avoids poor readings.
- See #1. Yes, most of my poor reading were obtained when I was not resting my arm on the table. No fault of the unit, I just spazzed out. I am relieved when I do rest my arms and chill out before taking my blood pressure readings that they are in the normal range.
- My blood pressure does vary throughout the day. I feel I am more aware now of when my blood pressure is rising and when I am feeling stressed. I am now taking the time to cool down and chill out. I am going to confirm this in my next blog post when I talk to some specialists and ask them questions.
- You cannot screenshot from the Omron Connect App. This is for privacy reasons. It made it hard to grab pictures for the blog post but it sure made me feel better about the privacy of my information.
Top 5 Things to know about Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
- CHECK ANYTIME– You can check your blood pressure anytime you want to–Feeling stressed? Check your blood pressure. Feeling out of it? Check your blood presssure.
- NOT A DOCTOR–You are not a medical professional –well most of us aren’t. So if you take your blood pressure and it’s elevated or higher, consider calling your doctor, 911, or heading to the nearest medical facility.
- DATA–Doctors thrive on data. Having more blood pressure readings over time provides them with more insights and a more accurate view of your blood pressure.
- “WHITE COAT EFFECT” — Many people get stressed when they are heading to the doctor’s office. Often your blood pressure is LOWER at home. That is why the best, most accurate way to know your blood pressure reading on average is to take readings regularly, at home, in a relaxed setting when you are at rest for at least 15 minutes.
- MOBILE– At home blood pressure monitors (like the Omron Evolv) can be portable, wireless and mobile. So you can take your monitor with you, wherever you choose…vacation, retirement home, long weekend.
Take the Omron Going for Zero Pledge today and learn more about the Omron Evolv! In my next blog article, I will be talking to Omron physician partners, including renowned cardiologist, Dr. James Rippe.