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While there are several blood pressure monitor watches on the market, Omron HeartGuide is the only one with FDA clearance.
Even if you don’t have a diagnosis of high blood pressure (hypertension) or a family history of it, it’s important to keep an eye on your blood pressure numbers, especially as you age or if you’re pregnant.
Since blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, it’s best to be able to take readings often.
While blood pressure is traditionally measured with a blood pressure cuff, some devices claim to provide accurate measurements via your finger or wrist. These options may seem convenient, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best choice.
Read on to find out more about their accuracy and get our top pick for the best blood pressure monitor watch.
Several smartwatches on the market claim to measure your blood pressure. We reviewed several options, including the FitVII and the MorePro Activity Tracker, but most did not meet our rigorous vetting criteria. This is because most don’t have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance.
While more FDA-cleared devices, like the LiveMetric LiveOne Band, are expected to be available in the future, only one option currently fits the bill: the Omron HeartGuide. It has FDA clearance and is a class 2 medical device.
FDA clearance vs. FDA approval
FDA clearance isn’t the same thing as FDA approval.
Unlike class 3 medical devices that support or sustain life, wrist monitors are categorized as class 1 or class 2 low risk medical devices. Low risk medical devices don’t require FDA approval to be marketed. The FDA doesn’t guarantee the results of the watch you buy.
But these watches still have benefits. They may give accurate or near-accurate results that provide valuable information — for example, if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy. They may also provide information about how your blood pressure responds to exercise.
Just don’t rely on watches as your sole blood pressure monitoring device. This may be especially important if you have high blood pressure or take medications that make you prone to low blood pressure (hypotension).
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You may get a more accurate result from a wrist monitor by keeping your wrist on your heart during your reading.
You can also double-check your watch’s accuracy by comparing its readings with those received in a medical setting. You can do this by taking your watch to a doctor’s appointment and testing yourself immediately after getting an upper arm cuff reading.
Large-scale testing for accuracy hasn’t been done on blood pressure monitor watches or fitness trackers containing a blood pressure reading feature.
A few small studies have looked at the accuracy of specific watch models, with uneven results.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, talk with a healthcare professional. Readings from a blood pressure cuff might not be accurate enough to reveal whether you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Talk with a doctor if you’re frequently experiencing the following symptoms:
Is there a smartwatch that monitors blood pressure?
Major smartwatch manufacturers, like Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit, are still developing their blood pressure tech for FDA clearance in the United States.
In the meantime, Omron offers an FDA-cleared blood pressure watch.
Do any blood pressure watches work?
The accuracy of blood pressure watches varies according to the product. Always read the reviews thoroughly on any blood pressure tracking watch you purchase to get an idea of accuracy.
A blood pressure watch isn’t a replacement for regular monitoring by a medical professional. If you have a health concern and need to have your blood pressure measured at home daily, it’s a good idea to invest in a standard blood pressure cuff at home.
Is there a wearable device for blood pressure?
Yes, but most of them are not FDA cleared. The only option that’s currently FDA cleared is the Omron HeartGuide.
Blood pressure monitor watches may provide accurate readings, although this hasn’t been proven in large-scale studies.
To get the most accurate, consistent results, choose an option that’s been cleared as a medical device by the FDA.
If you have a health condition like high blood pressure, don’t rely on wrist monitors alone for your readings. No watch takes the place of monitoring by a healthcare professional.