With all the advances in technology, how does it affect health? Learn about different types of tech to help with high blood pressure.
Whenever you visit your doctor, a healthcare professional will typically wrap a cuff around your arm to measure your blood pressure (BP). While you can also do this at home with home monitors, new advances in technology show the potential for more convenient ways to measure your BP.
Ultimately, what matters is how accurate your readings are, since high blood pressure (hypertension) is a significant factor in heart disease. In fact, according to a 2019 study, individuals with untreated white coat hypertension are more likely to die from heart disease than those with normal levels. White coat hypertension is when your readings at a doctor’s office are higher than when taken at other places.
“If this innovation gets more people excited to check their blood pressure, I’m all for it. But the most important component is accuracy because if the readings aren’t accurate, the device isn’t providing any value,” says Jordana B. Cohen, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor in the division of Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension.
Smart Blood Pressure
Various companies have considered creating smart devices that help people measure their BP in a convenient way. For instance, Under Armour filed a patent application in 2019 for a sneaker that can measure blood pressure.
In another example, researchers used a face-scanning app to help measure participants’ levels. “To manage and prevent [hypertension], regular monitoring of one’s blood pressure is essential,” notes the study’s lead author Kang Lee, Ph.D., professor and research chair in developmental neuroscience at the University of Toronto in Canada. “Cuff-based blood pressure measuring devices, which are highly accurate, are inconvenient and uncomfortable.”
While there is potential in new technology, most of these devices are not ready for market just yet. According to Ray Townsend, MD, director of the Hypertension Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, we need to be skeptical.
“The degree of precision, accuracy, and validation in smartphone devices, shoes, or gloves aren’t under the same level of scrutiny,” explains Townsend. “Consequently, there’s some skepticism about whether these devices are anywhere near primetime.”
Even though measuring your blood pressure with an app or sneakers seems convenient and fun, it’s best to stick to the “boring” monitors that work. If you want to get an at-home blood pressure monitor, make sure to take it to your doctor’s office and verify its accuracy.
In addition to checking your blood pressure, you can help your heart health by exercising, eating healthily, and taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients are effective at promoting circulation, blood pressure health, and more. Give your blood pressure the support it deserves by checking your levels and taking L-arginine Plus.