How Do Fitness Trackers Measure Blood Pressure?

One of the latest innovations when it comes to fitness trackers is their ability to measure blood pressure (BP).

Although there still remains some form of skepticism in reference to the capability of fitness trackers to measure this metric as it is believed that BP can only be measured accurately using a device that has an inflatable tube.  However, the latest advances in technology are rapidly dispelling this notion.

In this post, you will get to know how manufacturers of fitness trackers have developed these devices into BP monitors.

fitness trackers

The first company on our list is Omron Healthcare. The company is a popular healthcare company that is known for its commercial blood pressure monitors.

Recently, Omron launched a wrist blood pressure monitor, a black tiny wearable that looks like a standard smartwatch.

However, the manufacturer have reiterated that it isn’t quite straightforward when measuring blood pressure from the wrist as there are several precautions to take.

For instance, your arm has to be in the right position in order to get an accurate reading. Interestingly, this new Omron wearable solves this problem by alerting you to adjust your wrist if you’re not positioned properly. The device uses its sensors to figure out how you’re holding your arm.

Once, it is discovered that your arm is at heart level which is ideal position for blood pressure measurements — the device can start analyzing.

This Omron device is approved by the FDA which means the technology used has been validated through peer-reviewed research. However, this wearable is yet to receive regulatory clearance, but Omron have stated that the device meets the gold standards for accuracy in blood pressure monitoring.

Apart from Omron, Asus, an electronics company has also announced a new wearable at Computex 2018 called the VivoWatch BP, with the BP standing for Blood Pressure.

The device uses a combination of PPG (photoplethysmography) and EKG (electrocardiogram) sensors to measure your blood pressure. The PPG sensors detect your heart rate while the EKG sensors track your blood flow.

However, you need to hold your finger down on the sensor on the front for 15-20 seconds so it can measure your blood pressure and show your results on the display.

Also, the device can be used to constantly monitor your health too, as one of the two PPG sensors continuously measures your heart rate so you can get an instant reading whenever you want it. It can also monitor your sleep and you can wear it during workouts to once again monitor both heart rate and blood pressure.

The VivoWatch BP with GPS can track and share your location without needing to be connected to a phone. Also, it is expected that a future software update will automatically alert family members if your vital signs drastically change.

Additionally, the VivoWatch BP runs on Asus’ own KoodOS, and can pair with both Android and iOS devices, a companion HealthConnect app stores all your measurements in the Cloud and can be used to set reminders to take medication. Asus HealthAI analyses your measurements and can give you an overall picture of your health and recommend lifestyle adjustments to get you into better shape.

The device doesn’t look like the prettiest wearable ever, but in terms of functionality, the VivoWatch BP seems quite efficient with its large bezels to house the vital sensors, its excellent IP67-rating which protects against dust and water and its 28 day battery life.