Why is validating blood pressure monitors important?

It is recommended that we buy a ‘clinically validated’ BP monitor and in fact, the best monitors place a lot of emphasis on how many clinical tests they have cleared to reach your hands. Healthcare practitioners too suggest we ensure that there is a “Clinically Validated” stamp on the BP machines we buy, hence every seller makes it a point to showcase it.

But what does “Clinically Validated” mean and why is it important? Simply put, clinical validation is a detailed test or tests run with a sample group to check the accuracy and reliability of a clinical device, in this instance a BP monitor. Now, when you consider precision and accuracy, it is important in disease and health management that you understand how clinical validation plays a vital role in this chain.

Having said that, here are three good reasons why your BP monitor should be a validated one. 

Ensures it can be trusted for accurate readings.

Hypertension Management relies heavily on regular and accurate BP checks and a faulty monitor can completely mislead the process. A validation clearance ensures the monitor in your home is reliable.

In fact, certain modern BP monitors like the Circa India home blood pressure monitors (HBPM) namely Exclusio, Premier and Practo have also been validated to give accurate and reliable BP readings for special patient groups including pregnant women, diabetics, children above 12 years and those with renal diseases. 

Ensures readings are within the error margin of <5 mg.

Validations tests are undertaken not only with the ideal patient groups, but also to monitor whether blood pressure readings are within the error margin of <5 mg. Every international organization has its own way of testing this, therefore, it is wise to choose a BP monitor that adheres to a widely accepted global standard. Take the Circa 120/80 monitors; they are validated by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS), the European Society of Hypertension (ESH), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It is also recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Ensures the inflatable cuff when placed in the center of the upper arm covers 80% of it.  

A correct BP reading is also dependent on how we use the monitor and how good are its parts. For instance, a shorter or a tighter cuff is a discomfort for the patient and in that situation, his readings may show an irregularity that is not true to his current condition.

Ideally, the inflatable cuff of the monitor should be placed in the center of the upper arm and should cover 80% of it. A validation test done for this purpose has proven this to be true. Multiple sizes of cuffs are available, so it is advisable that you choose the cuff size that suit’s your arm while purchasing the blood pressure monitor itself.

Remember, a BP monitor is a device which must be precisely monitored since it is vital in managing a number of common chronic lifestyle diseases. We may not be able to completely escape the disorder because of our circumstances, but we can take every care to manage it better. And now you know why checking for the validation of a BP monitor is of the utmost importance.

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