High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. As per a rough estimate, 1 in every 2 adults in the USA has high blood pressure, and nearly one-third of affected people do not know they have it.
High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms. But if left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
In theory, a blood pressure watch is supposed to be a wearable device that helps people with hypertension keep track of their blood pressure readings. This information can help people work with their doctors to better manage their blood pressure.
Many wearable companies including Fitbit, Apple, and Samsung have been able to integrate blood pressure monitoring into their watches that allow users to measure their blood pressure readings at home. However, not all were lucky enough to claim that they have an FDA-approved Blood Pressure Watch.
What is FDA and Why its approval is important?
FDA or Food and Drug Administration is the governing body that oversees all of the food, drugs, and medical devices which are manufactured in the US. Most notably they were given authority by Congress to approve or disapprove any drug or medical device for use by patients within the country.
Given the stature of this organization, it is no wonder that its approval of a certain medical device lends the latter higher credibility. In our case, any watch that has been cleared by the FDA as a blood pressure monitor would be more trustworthy than one which is not.
Omron HeartGuide: World’s First FDA approved Blood Pressure Watch
Though an obscure name in the wearable industry, Omron HeartGuide was the first to get the nod from Federal Agency. It is so far the Best FDA Approved Watch for Blood Pressure Monitoring.
As far as the design is concerned, there is no innovation involved whatsoever. It follows the traditional circular design with a bulky casing and an unappealing strap.
The watchband has considerable heft to it due mainly to the inflatable cuff within the watch strap to take an accurate blood pressure reading quickly and easily. The watch is essentially a sized-down version of traditional oscillometric measurement.
HealthGuide comes with a companion app named ‘OMRON connect US/CAN‘, which in turn, gives you detailed insights into your blood pressure fluctuations throughout the day and develops a more thorough understanding of how your lifestyle choices impact your heart health.
Also, this watch can track other fitness metrics like steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep patterns. And in the name of smarts, the watch is just offering support for mobile notifications. (It’s a shame that even a $50 Amazfit Bip U offers more features than Omron HealthGuide, which comes at a whopping $500).
Alternatives to Omron HealthGuide?
The latest Fitbit (Versa 3), Apple Watch (Series 7), and Samsung Galaxy Watch (4/4 Classic) can all take blood pressure readings with their respective apps.
If you set aside the fact that none of these watches can be counted as FDA-approved BP Watch, they all are great fitness trackers with added smart features like NFC payments, music storage, and LTE connectivity.
Moreover, these watches come equipped with the latest sensors and hardware while Omron’s device contains outdated tech except for the blood pressure monitoring.
The other watches might offer passable accuracy which gives you a general idea of your blood pressure but not the level of accuracy that would be considered clinically viable.
What is the most accurate blood pressure watch?
Omron HealthGuide is the most accurate blood pressure watch as we tested it against the Apple Watch and Samsung GW4.
We found a near-perfect correlation between the readings on the three watches, and that gave us enough confidence in using Omron HealthGuide to track our blood pressure. Getting FDA approval isn’t a joke, and it requires a lot of stringent testing to pass.
As we mentioned before, other watches might get the job done but not as accurately as Omron HealthGuide. It is the most accurate blood pressure watch on the market right now.
Please Note: The accuracy of your blood pressure readings can be impacted by many factors such as how tight the cuff is, how still you are, etc.
So far, Omron HealthGuide is the most accurate FDA-approved watch for blood pressure monitoring. If you are looking to track your BP accurately and conveniently, this is the device to go for.
However, if you don’t mind a few hiccups in the accuracy department, there are other options available as well by reputable brands like Fitbit, Apple, and Samsung.