Disappointing considering the price
I bought the more expensive brand for my father to use but it is so frustrating to use it only works 1 out of 10 tries on average. it's very annoying that it works occasionally. Will need to buy a different brand as it's not worth the daily annoyance of this machine not working consistently. Disappointing considering the price
Effective Blood Pressure Monitor
I have owned a number of home blood pressure monitors over the last several years, the most recent being the Omron "Intellisense" BP791IT, bought around 2011 or '12 I think, and still working fine in 2015. These all work in much the same way, once you have put in the 4 AA batteries (I use rechargeable ones), and enter the correct date and time. For regular use, I place the cuff on my upper arm, correctly orientated (there is a guide printed on the cuff to help), and press the 'Start' button. The device inflates the cuff, waits several seconds, and then deflates, showing me my blood pressure readings (systollic, diastollic, and pulse) and date and time taken, on the screen, in big clear and easily readable numbers. The readings are stored in memory, and can be recalled and reviewed, although there is a maximum limit (maybe 90? - more expensive models store more readings).
This model is more advanced than the basic model, allowing for connection to a Windows PC, via a USB mini cable. This aspect has never worked for me (more recent models have bluetooth or possibly have fixed this issue), but I haven't investigated the issues very closely, so they may be resolvable. If the computer connection or automatic data upload is important to you, then check the current model for more information about this.
When I got this model, linking the device to download the data was still somewhat new, so I knew I was pushing the envelope somewhat. So the bad data connection and upload is why I have marked the device down to 4 stars. But there has been developments in this, and current models may work better. Another issue is that it seems that the device needs to connect with Omron's own software application, or else the Microsoft HealthVault software, both of which I installed, but could not get to work properly, although I didn't spend much time on determining why. But using a proprietary software package in this way is probably not ideal for accessing the data.
In fact, because I have been using earlier Omron BP monitors for quite some years, (I had at least 2 earlier models), I had an existing procedure of writing my BP values down, or more recently storing them in an Android BP logging app (also available with iPhones), and using that application to keep track of my measurements, plot them on a graph to check each day, and then occasionally to email them to myself to upload into a spreadsheet, for printing out to take to my doctor and cardiologist. That's quick and easy, and takes little time and effort, so automating the process using bluetooth or a cable is not a dealbreaker.
The Omron brand has a good reputation, from my experience in talking with doctors. I take the machine to my cardiologist every 2 years, to have it's values checked, and it has always passed the test against a manual BP procedure by the doctor. It's apparently recommended to calibrate the device regularly, by having your doctor run it, and then take the readings manually... This model works more consistently than the earlier (Omron) models, and seems to be quicker, and the cuff works every time. Changing or recharging the batteries seems to delete stored data, but I get around that by recharging the batteries 2 at a time, and they last a long time before needing replacing or recharging - say about a month.
I think that tracking blood pressure at home is very valuable, and this device, along with current models, is easy to use, and not too expensive to buy. More people should take advantage of home BP monitors, and this brand and model, along with the current equivalent model, work well, and I think are to be recommended. But make sure you get into a routine of using them on most days (when you wake up in the morning is good), and then extracting the data, and taking it to give to your doctor on each visit. Overall, I think these Omron devices are quite good, and value for money.
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