Home Digital Blood Pressure Monitors: Advantages & Limitations

home bp monitor advantages and limitations

Home Blood Pressure Monitors (HBPM) have been widely recommended by doctors, for patients suffering from hypertension. As these monitors enable regular BP checks, they provide a more accurate picture of a patient’s blood pressure than an occasional clinical check-up would.  

Digital home BP monitors have the potential to improve hypertension management and help doctors evaluate the effectiveness of the medication they prescribe. Having said that, we don’t deny the fact that home blood pressure monitors have certain limitations too.

So here the advantages & disadvantages of an HBPM, that you need to understand before you buy one.

Advantages of a home BP monitor

Identifies and helps avoid white coat reactions: Simply put, a White Coat reaction is when a patient shows elevated pressure levels at a doctor’s clinic as compared to when his/her blood pressure is checked at home. This usually happens due to the nervousness of being in a hospital or medical environment. When you measure your BP at home, your mind is at ease and therefore HBPMs are able to provide more accurate blood pressure readings

Helps understand blood pressure patterns: Nowadays, most HBPMs are equipped to store blood pressure readings along with their date & time stamps. This makes it easier for doctors to monitor the fluctuations in your readings over time and make the necessary adjustments in your medication. 

Easy to use: Home Blood pressure monitors are compact, portable and generally have an easy-to-use interface. They contain all the functionalities required to ensure precise BP results. This lessens the manual dexterity required as compared to machines with separate gauge & stethoscope. 

Reduces human error: Digital blood pressure monitors make use of advanced technologies to detect pressure fluctuations. Using this type of blood pressure monitor reduces the risk of human errors, as most of the critical operations are automatic. 

Limitations of a home BP monitor

Some BP machines provide inaccurate readings: The accuracy of a home blood pressure monitor depends on a lot of factors – the most significant one being the built quality. Cheaper machines usually have poor built quality and often deliver inaccurate results. 

To ensure that accuracy of your HBPM, compare its readings to the BP machines at your doctor’s clinic. 

Not all BP machines are validated for Special Patient Group (SPG): 

People suffering from Diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, Obesity & End-stage Renal Disease (Special Patient Groups) require BP monitors that are configured to suit their conditions. But most of the digital home blood pressures available in the market today are not may not be validated for these groups. 

If you’re suffering from any of the above conditions, ensure that your BP monitor is SPG-certified.

HBPM tend to be overly sensitive: Even a slight movement while measuring your blood pressure can result in inaccurate results. 

This, however, can be avoided by simply assuming a comfortable posture and remain completely still during the duration of the BP reading.

Anxiety due to excessive monitoring: When you have a home BP monitor, it is very likely that you will over-monitor your blood pressure. This can cause anxiety & aggravate your pressure levels further, leading to inaccurate results. 

Expert guidance regarding the number of times & time of day you should measure your BP is highly recommended. 

A blood pressure monitor can help you monitor and manage your blood pressure well. Ensure the device you buy is validated for your clinical condition and is recommended by global hypertension bodies. Before purchasing any BP monitor consult your doctor, he can suggest an accurate blood pressure monitors for home use.

So if you’re in the market for a blood pressure machine that is as accurate as a doctor’s machine, clinically validated and offers value for money, browse through the CIRCA home blood pressure monitors.  

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