Millions of people in India and throughout the world have hypertension or high blood pressure. The disorder many times is asymptomatic and is considered one of the life-threatening “lifestyle diseases” that can lead to many health complications. Over the years, its onset has become common in both the elderly and young people. Along with medications and lifestyle changes, regularly checking blood pressure is one of the most important aspects of keeping it under control and staying healthy. Either a manual blood pressure gauge or a digital blood pressure monitor (DBPM) can be used for this. Although both types of monitors have advantages, we need to be aware of some of the concerns and misconceptions about them so we can choose the one that is ideal for us.
Concerns about accuracy
One of the most common concerns is the digital monitor is less accurate than a manual BP monitor. There are several factors that affect the reading of manual BP monitors. The manual monitoring method is the first method that is taught to people in the medical field. There are chances of error in the measurement depending on the measurer’s skill and external conditions for the assessment. For example, too much of environmental noise impact the outcome in this method. Also, to get precise readings, instruments need to be calibrated properly in this procedure. Inappropriate cuff size, condition, age of the equipment, and higher blood flow are some more common factors that influence the readings in this method.
On the other hand, in a digital BP monitor measurement is not affected by external factors such as noise and the subjective assessment of the measurer. These monitors give precise readings we sincerely follow the instructions as per the manual received with the device. Digital monitors also work well even if the blood flow is higher, and we also do not have to worry about the correct setup of equipment before taking readings (just ensure that it is correctly calibrated).
A digital blood pressure monitor can be just as accurate as one measured by a professional.
Reading from a digital blood pressure monitor is as accurate as professional measuring blood pressure with a manual monitor. It uses an oscillometric method to measure blood pressure. The accuracy further depends on how well we choose our equipment and how we maintain the device.
Advantages of a digital blood pressure monitor
Digital BP monitors are designed to be used at home quickly, even by first-time users and people staying alone without any assistance. With advancements like Bluetooth connectivity, one can easily share current and previous readings with physicians in real time to help them make more informed decisions. Digital monitors are also portable due to their small size and lightweight.
They have fewer external parts, and they simply record data from sensors, which makes it a user-friendly option. One does not have to worry about accidentally damaging them or losing the external parts during travel like we do with manual BP monitors. This makes digital an ideal choice for people who have trouble keeping track of multiple pieces of equipment at once. It is important to understand that we can use digital BP monitors at home, but they are also useful for tracking our blood pressure at the doctor’s office. If we are taking medication for high blood pressure, or if we have any other condition that affects our blood pressure such as diabetes or heart disease, then a digital monitor will help keep track of changes in our numbers so that they can be adjusted appropriately.
Hence, we can say that there are many concerns and confusion about using a digital BP monitor that are not true. As long as we follow doctors’ guidelines to measure blood pressure, we should be able to get accurate readings.