About 70 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt died of essentially untreated hypertension, with years of exams describing a progression from EKG changes suggestive of left ventricular changes, to heart failure, and finally a stroke with cerebral hemorrhage that ended his life. At that time, the impacts of hypertension were not well understood.

Over the last 50 years or so, we’ve come to understand that high blood pressure contributes to everything from kidney dysfunction, heart attacks, to strokes, and much more. And despite the availability of a wide range of safe, well tolerated medications, it’s estimated that only a little more than half of the 80 million Americans with high blood pressure have it under control.

In recent years, an increasing number of patients and their physicians are using home blood pressure monitoring as part of their approach to tackling this important chronic condition. And the availability of connected blood pressure devices gives clinicians and patients an opportunity to work together beyond just clinic visits every few months.

Here, we’ve summarized the key features of all of the connected blood pressure cuffs that we’ve found and offer our pick for the best option based on both our experience in digital health and international practice guidelines on the management of hypertension.

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings-WirelessBPM-Main-Android-EN

Key Specifications:

  • Compatibility: iOS, Android
  • Native App: Yes, Withings Health Mate
  • Third-Party Integration: Extensive integration with third party services is a strength – the full list is available here. Among them are popular personal health management tools like Tactio, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, HealthVault, and LoseIt. It is also HealthKit integrated.
  • FDA Cleared:2 Yes
  • Validated:1 Yes, ESH 2010 Protocol
  • Cuff Information: Single cuff size fits arm circumferences 22 – 42 cm.
  • Multiple Users:Yes
  • Price: $129.95

Key Guideline & Evidence-Based Features:

  • Reminder function: Yes
  • Self-Care Messages/Information: Yes, using simple reminders on topics like controlling salt or alcohol intake
  • Instructions on Proper Technique: Yes
  • Sharing Function: Yes and includes ability to set up automated, scheduled sharing. Data shared as list and attached .CSV file.
  • Recommend validation against in clinic measurement: No

Pros: Validated according to international standard, excellent 3rd party app integration, HealthKit compatible, captures step counts from compatible smartphones (like the iPhone 5S or 6), excellent app usability

Cons: Single cuff size, less compact design, mediocore sharing functionality

The Bottom Line: Good choice for people who use other health-tracking apps and have an appropriate arm circumference

Find more information about the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor here.

Read the full review here.