Garmin has just added a smart blood pressure monitor to its range of devices. The clinically validated Index BPM allows you to have a more complete view of your health.
Back in July we wrote about new functionality that was added to Garmin Connect. The update asked users to give permission to “write” blood pressure readings to Apple Health. At the time there was no Garmin device that could monitor blood pressure. You also did not have the option to add another brand’s blood pressure monitor to sync with Garmin Connect.
Index BPM – the first blood pressure monitor from Garmin
Now it is clear this was preparation for the launch of the Garmin Index BPM. We suspected as much but as of today the device is official. You can order it from Garmin’s website. The $149.99 device ships in 7-10 days time.
The sleek looking blood pressure monitor measures 58 x 145 x 47mm. It has a 32.4 x 21.4mm OLED Monochrome display with a resolution of 128 pixels x 64 pixels. Its weight is only 320 grams so this is something you can easily slip into your bag or rucksack if you are traveling somewhere. The cuff folds up for easy storage.
Garmin says you can take up to 100 measurements and they will all be stored on the device. So you do not really need to sync it with Garmin Connect too often. There’s both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity but the easy option is to configure the Wi-Fi. That way measurements will find their way to the cloud without you having to lift a finger.
Garmin connect shows a history of your readings (7 day, 4 week, 1 year), along with averages. These can be exported in PDF format. That way you can email them to your healthcare provider.
Up to 16 users can use the device and the readings will sync to their individual Garmin accounts. Users can also set up reminders using the Garmin Connect app and the notifications will come through to their smartphones.
If you prefer, you have the option not to connect to your Garmin account. In that case you can use Index BPM as a stand-alone device which will remember your last 100 readings.
As mentioned, this is a clinically validated blood pressure monitor, which means it has the stamp of approval from the FDA. You can take a single measurement or three consecutive measurements which will be averaged up.
Powering everything are four AAA batteries. With normal use, they can keep Index BPM going for up to 9 months.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets
This is a long overdue move from Garmin. Its software may be a fitness and health powerhouse, with one notable exception up to now. It didn’t allow users to store blood pressure readings. Which was peculiar considering that this is one of the most important health metrics a person can track. This was big omission as it meant you couldn’t have all your health data in one place. The company has finally put things right. Better late than never!
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