For the first few years after I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis, I took a medication known for harsh side effects. I was largely unaffected, but I did develop high blood pressure as a result. It is in check but needs to be monitored daily. My latest tool in the battle to stay healthy? The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor.
Back in July 2011, I did a brief video look at the Withings Smart Blood Pressure Monitor. (Check it out here.) It connected to the 30-pin connector on my iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and used the iOS device as the “brains” for checking blood pressure. It did its job and has served me quite well ever since. For the last months however, we have been devoid of iOS devices with 30-pin connectors. And while I have been able to use a 30-pin to Lightning adapter to make the leap, it has made using the device a bit more cumbersome.
The new Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor gets the same job done, but it cuts the wire by using the Low Energy connectivity of my iOS devices’ Bluetooth Smart. It also comes with an adapter so it can be used in wired mode, but that sorta defeats the purpose.
Using Bluetooth Smart also means the device now works with devices running Android 4.0 or greater. That’s important, since more and more people I know are dumping their iPhones and going to one of the latest and greatest Android handsets. Yes, Apple went from one proprietary connector to another; as a result, Apple continues to isolate itself. Withings is just one company that has come to realize that by moving to a more universal connection, such as Bluetooth, they can increase their market and the desirability of their products. That’s why there is a free app in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store. And yes, you can use the apps with tablets, but the apps are not optimized for the bigger screen.
Cutting the cord was a smart move for Withings but it also increases the simplicity convenience of using the Blood Pressure Monitor; as you try to position the blood pressure cuff on your arm single-handedly, not having to fuss with a cable running to your phone or tablet is rather nice.
Inside the simple packaging you’ll find the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, 4 AAA alkaline batteries that are already inserted into the unit, a User Manual, and a USB adapter for those times when you might want to use a wired connection rather than rely upon Bluetooth Smart.
According to Withings, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor can measure blood pressure within the range of 0 to 285 mmHg with an accuracy of ±3 mmHg or 2% of reading. The heart rate measurement range is from 40 to 180 beats per minute, with an accuracy of 5% of reading. Finally, the cuff fits arm circumferences from 9 to 17″.
For me all this translates to the fact that the monitor is accurate enough and does indeed fit nicely on my arm.
Obviously this health device is worthless unless it is accompanied by an app that runs, monitors, and records the process and results. The good news on this front is that the Withings Healthmate app, a free download from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store, does an excellent job. It walked me through the signup and registration process and told me how to connect the blood pressure cuff to my iPhone. After that, it was as simple as telling the program to check my blood pressure. Within seconds the cuff was inflating, monitoring and presenting me with the results.
Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor Setup
As you can see, it walked me through each individual step.
It gave me peace of mind to know that my blood pressure medications have not only addressed the issue created by the other medication, they have helped keep my blood pressure better than ever.
Withings also notes that you can “track your food using partner app MyFitnessPal and get an extra widget in Health Mate to display metabolic and total calories.” In other words, between this Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer Scale, the Withings Pulse, and their various iOS and Android apps, Withings is looking to be a complete 21st century health stop.
Thus far I’m impressed and glad to have both their scale and their wireless blood pressure monitor available to me. You can check it out and order yours here.
What I Like: Step by step walkthrough to get started; Easy to use; Works with iOS and Android; Wireless or wired functionality; Does what it promises; Integrates with the company’s growing port olio of health devices and apps
What Needs Improvement: Not a thing so far
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor