Can Smartwatch Measure Blood Pressure Accurately?

High blood Pressure is one of the major problems in USA now. In the last year, data shows more than 110 million people are suffering from hypertension.

According to CDC, near about 47% people are suffering from high blood pressure. But you can prevent this problem by staying updated to the situation of your body. Now, let’s focus on your question.

Does Blood pressure watches give accurate reading?

No, blood pressure watches do not give accurate results as compared to medical instruments because they measure a relative value of Pulse Transmitting Time. But Blood pressure cuffs give estimated systolic and diastolic mercury reading.

For instance, we have 5 interesting points to show you the best overview about blood pressure watches.

Measuring Blood Pressure Using Instruments (Quick Explanation)

With the development of medical science, we are now capable of using portable blood pressure cuffs to use at home.

According to PubMed, in 1881, von Basch first created the sphygmomanometer to measure only systolic blood pressure.

After that in 1896, a mercury sphygmomanometer was developed that is used today. With years of revolution, it has gained reliability as well as portability.

Now, with a decent knowledge of the user manual of blood pressure cuffs, we can check the pressure of blood in a human body.

Now, to measure blood pressure we have two options in our hands,

  • Using Blood Pressure Cuffs
  • Using Wearable Trackers

Both of the methods stand for their own facilities. To use Blood Pressure cuffs, one has to tighten the cuffs in the upper arm and applied and released pressure, thus, a scale of mercury will show the pressure of blood along our artery.

Related: Best Blood Pressure Checker Omron

But wearable trackers are automated and you need nothing to do but calibrate sometimes and it will show measurements in Fitness App.

however, there is a significant difference in accuracy between cuffs and health watches.

To understand the usefulness of the devices, you should take a look at the mechanism of measuring blood pressure.

In short, wearable devices are portable and easy to use for blood pressure and other health monitoring but still, they are lacking in accuracy approval with clinical blood pressure cuffs.

How Health Watches Or Smartwatches Measure Blood Pressure

Brands like Samsung, and Fitfort Fitness Tracker, are trying to measure blood pressure in some indirect ways.

Here they are not applying any cuffs on your wrist or hand but figuring out the pulse transmit time.

It is a duration where arterial pulse pressure wave passes from the arterial valve to a peripheral site of our body. However, this is a relative way to measure blood pressure.

Let’s break it down. Smartwatches use waves and frequency to detect different health conditions.

It’s too complex to apply cuffs with an air pressure system on the upper arm using a smartwatch.

That’s why fitness tracking brands are trying to use a biometric sensor that sends magnetic waves to measure Pulse Transmitting Time (PTT).

Then algorithm record and calculate the data to give a probable blood pressure measurement.

To understand this method we are leaving a flow chart below-

how smartwatches measure blood pressure

What Is The Most Preferred Clinical Method To Measure Blood Pressure

Right now, the most preferred clinical way to measure blood pressure is to use blood pressure cuffs.

From doctors to nurationist, everyone guides to use this device as it is approved authorized medical science organization.

There are types of Blood Pressure cuffs-

  1. Manual Blood Pressure Cuffs
  2. Automatic Blood Pressure Cuffs

Before starting the procedure, you must follow this steps below-

Steps you should follow before checking blood pressure

Data And Source: Consumer Reports

How To Measure Blood Pressure Using Manual Blood Pressure Cuffs?

Measuring blood pressure using cuffs is a straight forward process but need to be done by obeying the guidelines. Otherwise, you may get error in calculations.

To measure blood pressure manually,

  1. Take a Blood Pressure Cuffs and Stathescope
  2. Gently open the cuffs
  3. Rap it around inside your upper arm
  4. Make sure you rap it 2-3 inches above the brachial artery
  5. The mercury meter fixed on cuff should be inside your upper arm
  6. Take Elimate Systolic Pressure
  7. Place the stethoscope on the brachial artery under the cuff
  8. Push air at about more than 30 millimeter of mercury of Elimated Systolic Pressure
  9. Start releasing 2 Millimeter per second and hear the thumb sound on stethoscope, called sandwiches
  10. The 1st sound would be for systolic blood pressure and 2nd sound refers the reading of diastolic

Well, it appears that you are feeling confused and want to get more practical demonstration. Take a look in this video to understand every single points.

How To Measure Blood Pressure Using Automated Blood Pressure Cuffs?

It is for those who want to check the blood pressure without any complexity. Using an automated blood pressure monitor you can measure it.

It’s simple, easy, and straight forward.

To measure blood automatically, you need to-

  1. Sit on a table comfortably
  2. Put your hand on the table
  3. The Inner Side of your hand should be faced towards your mouth
  4. Put on the cuffs on the upper arm, 2 inches away from elbow joint or bracial artery
  5. Make sure you have tightened enough that you can put only two fingers
  6. Press the start button of the digital monitor
  7. Stay calm
  8. The cuff will inflate and deflate to make readings
  9. After a minute, you can check the Systolic, Dyastolic, Pulse rate on the screen
  10. At the end you may note down the reading to track the improvements of your health

Pros And Cons Of Using Fitness Wearables For Blood Pressure Measurement

Can smartwatch measure blood pressure accurately?

Fitness wearable is an excellent option to measure health conditions. But we have to accept some limitation of this devices.

Now, there are several fitness tracking brands who are working on the project of blood pressure measurement. Somehow they have not cracked the code to get verifications.

Here are few positive and negative sites of using Fitness wearables for Blood Pressure,

Advantages Disadvantages
Small, TrendyFail To Read Like Clinic Devices
Brings Other Advantages such as heart rate, Spo2, Stress, SleepFlase reading is harmful for serious, aged patients
Automatic MeasurementUse Wave And PTT for Measurement
Highly PortableStill have not approved by FDA, other medial authorities

Final Thoughts On Accuracy Of Blood Pressure Watches

First of all, Blood Pressure is a very sensitive behavior to measure. And rays and waves are not capable to measure blood pressure directly. Therefore, blood pressure watches stands a few steps behind medical devices in terms of accuracy.

However, Omron is the first blood pressure watch watch to get validation from medical authorities.

BP5350, BP5450, BP6100, BP629, BP629N are some of the well known model numbers of blood pressure monitor of Omron.

The reason why they are above than other brands is nothing but the method of measuring. Under the strap of they are using cuffs to detect the pressure.

Which is pretty much similar to automated blood pressure cuffs. However, it is above $300 and still unable to match the accuracy level of medical devices.