We’ve recently reviewed a number of blood pressure monitors that connect to your iPhone or Android smartphone. In our compilation review, we picked the iHealth BP5 Blood Pressure Monitor as the best smartphone-connected blood pressure monitor.
Recently, a “new” player jumped into the market that may change that – Omron.
Using the word new and Omron is crazy – Omron’s medical devices are market mainstays, recognized for their reasonable cost, thorough premarket testing, and device accuracy. It’s often used as the benchmark device in clinical trials. All of that does make it stunning that it took this long for Omron to jump into the connected device space. Nevertheless, here we are.
The Omron Series 10 Smart BT for iPhone and select Android devices* uses Bluetooth to connect with your smartphone, using the recently released Omron Wellness App.
The aesthetics of the device are pretty underwhelming. There was little attempt here to achieve the sleek, compact designs that mark many of the other options in this space.
On the other hand, the device is entirely functional as an “unconnected” blood pressure monitor. In other words, it looks like they took their standard blood pressure monitor and added Bluetooth. Testing out the device, I did appreciate not having to take out my phone, turn on Bluetooth, and pair the device before taking a measurement. You can also review prior measurements on the device and change users (User 1 or User 2).
The device definitely feels clunky and is not terribly convenient to store or pack away. All of the set up, such as programming date & time or adjusting measurement settings, (more on that later) happen on the device itself – and it was not user friendly in the slightest.
Measuring & Tracking Blood Pressure
For the most part, the device is used as any standard blood pressure monitor would be. First, you select which user is measuring their blood pressure. You then put the cuff on your arm, you press the big blue start button on the monitor, and the cuff measures your blood pressure. The app itself is completely removed from this process. A downside here is that we lose reminders to rest for several minutes prior to measuring, instructions on seating position, and other tips that we see in the apps that accompany most connected blood pressure monitors.
There are several features on the monitor worth noting. First, you can review stored measurements on the monitor. Second, you can adjust the device settings so that it automatically takes two or three measurements with each test, displaying the average of the multiple measurements at the end. However, doing all of that, while simple, isn’t really intuitive – you need to review the instruction manual to figure it out.
The app is primarily a vehicle for storing and reviewing your blood pressure history. On the first use, you’ll be asked to provide some basic information including whether you’re going to be User 1 or 2 on the device.
*Only a limited number of Samsung devices appear to be compatible with this blood pressure monitor.