Many people are unaware that they have high levels of blood pressure. They feel the odd twinge or headache, but simply put this down to feeling a little under the weather. One in three adults is affected by high blood pressure, but as many as a third of these can be unaware of a problem. You should get your blood pressure checked regularly because it is a silent killer.
Essential reading: Top smart blood pressure monitors
Blood pressure is important because it could be an indicator of health problems in the future. If your blood pressure is high, it is putting extra strain on your arteries and on your heart. This may also cause a heart attack or stroke.
This is particularly important as you get older, as the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle can build up and your blood pressure can increase. If you smoke, are obese, are physically inactive, or have diabetes or high cholesterol, you may also be at an increased risk.
Luckily, there is an increasing number of smart blood pressure monitors, that are making the job of keeping tabs on your health a little bit easier. These devices offer the convenience of recording all the readings and keeping a historical account in a handy app, so that you can easily see any trends or patterns, which can help you to make lifestyle changes more quickly.
Koogeek is a relatively new entrant in market for health and fitness gadgets and wearables. In March last year, they released their first smart scale. The company has since added other devices to its portfolio such as an abdominal muscle exerciser, a SmartPlug and a Smart Thermometer. All of these communicate with the user through a smartphone app and Koogeek’s ‘Smart Cloud System’.
I’ve been testing Koogeek’s Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor over the past week. These are my impressions.
The blood pressure monitor arrives in a small box that contains the unit, two AAA batteries and a little instruction manual. It does not include any kind of storage case, but you can always save the box for that purpose, and it works well.
Once taken out of the package I noticed the appearance. The bright green and white design is modern and does not have a clinical feel. The strap also comes across as if it was made of quality material. All the buttons are clearly labelled and the wide display screen uses large fonts that are very easy to read.
To my surprise, the first time I took a reading, an automated female voice read them back to me. In fact, the voice startled me as it was a bit too loud! Luckily, it is not to difficult to turn down the audio, or even mute it if you wish (the option that I opted for in the end). You can also change the language to English, French or Spanish.
Before operating the unit, you should install the smartphone app. Do a simple search in the app store, or optionally you can scan the barcode on the back of the instruction manual which might save you a bit of time. Start-up the app, answer a few questions, register with an email account, pair the device via Bluetooth and you are ready to go. All in all, it only takes a few minutes to set up an account and log in.
This is a blood pressure monitor that takes readings from the wrist. Wrist blood pressure monitors are extremely sensitive to body position. To get an accurate reading your arm and wrist must be at heart level. Its also very important that you place the display of the unit on the inside of your wrist with the palm facing upwards. As I found out the hard way, if you wear it the other way around your readings are going to be much too high. So it is best to follow instructions to the letter. Interestingly, the instructions are also written on the band of the monitor so if you happen to lose the little manual, you will still have those.
The blood pressure monitor is very simple to use and works like any other blood pressure monitor. The display shows the date, time, pulse and diastolic and systolic blood pressure (measured as standard in mmHg).
In order to obtain correct measurement results, you need to put your elbow on the desktop, sit tight, stay quiet and keep your hands, arms and fingers still. To take a measurement, simply press the on button on the device. The cuff will automatically start to inflate. The unit can record up to 99 reading on the device itsself.
The other option is to take a measurement with the help of the smartphone app. The red heart in the app will begin to pulse as you turn the monitor on, indicating that a connection has been made. As you take a reading, both the blood pressure monitor and smartphone app will show the measurement results and save the data.
The app gives a bit more information and shows your reading in a color coded circle, which makes it simpler for you to understand whether your readings are within normal levels. There is also a graph that shows how your pulse and blood pressure readings have changed over time.
It is worth noting, the positioning of your arm is very important. Even with every precaution, blood pressure measurements taken at the wrist may be less accurate than those taken at your arm. That is because the wrist arteries are narrower and not as deep under your skin as those of the forearm. So if we understand that, and set it aside in favor of the increased convenience of a monitor for the wrist, then what we’re left with is an attractive and well designed instrument.
I went on to compare the readings with the Withings Blood Pressure monitor across several days. The two monitors were never more than a few digits apart. That gives me quite a bit of confidence in the accuracy of the Koogeek device.
Koogeek Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, ease of use and accuracy of readings. There may be lots of gimmicks or unnecessary bits of equipment for your health available today, but please rest assured that home monitors for blood pressure are not gimmicks and they are highly useful. While self-checking is not a substitute for seeing a doctor, being able to regularly measure and most importantly track blood pressure can literally save your life.
While this is an objective review, our friends at Koogeek have sent us a coupon valid until February 16th, which will allow you to purchase the device at a discount. The coupon for the Amazon US store is (X5HTCM8X), and for the Amazon UK store (XU3TYP6V).
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