One of the ways doctors treat high blood pressure is through frequent monitoring. While some blood pressure readings may need to occur in a doctor’s office, at-home blood pressure monitors can also be used in many situations.
Many people choose to take advantage of at-home blood pressure monitoring because it can help cut down on trips to the doctor’s office and the chance of blood pressure rising just from being around lots of doctors in white coats! At-home monitoring also makes it easier to test frequently throughout the day. This can be lifesaving information.
If you’re on the search for an at-home blood pressure monitor, one type you’ll likely come across is the Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor. Wondering what this particular brand has to offer? Don’t worry… we’ve got you covered…
A blood pressure monitor (also called a sphygmomanometer) offers information about the amount of pressure your blood is placing on the walls of your arteries.
These devices typically include an inflatable cuff to collapse and then release the brachial artery in a controlled manner. They also include a monitoring device to track the cuff’s pressure and display the results.
Blood pressure monitors generally report two key numbers: the systolic blood pressure and the diastolic blood pressure.
The systolic blood pressure (the top number) is the point when blood begins to flow intermittently through the artery. The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) indicates when the blood flow goes from intermittent to steady.
Microlife is an international medical diagnostic company. It specializes in the development and manufacturing of:
- blood pressure monitors
- digital thermometers
- Peak Flow Meters
Founded in Taiwan in 1981, the company opened offices in the United States in 1997. In 2009, Microlife became the first medical diagnostic company to develop a blood pressure monitor that detected both hypertension and atrial fibrillation.
Microlife blood pressure monitors have received many awards over the years including validation by the British Hypertension Society with the highest possible ranking of AA. The company has also teamed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to develop a cost effective blood pressure monitor for low and middle income countries.
Microlife offers a variety of blood pressure monitor options through their webpage and local stores (like Walmart and Costco). One popular option is the automatic wrist blood pressure monitor.
This compact style:
- is ideal for traveling
- stores the last reading
- includes irregular heartbeat detection technology
In addition to the wrist monitor, Microlife offers five traditional upper arm cuff styles that vary largely by the number of stored readings and analysis the monitor will provide.
Microlife blood pressure monitors include many of the traditionally expected features like:
- adjustable cuff
- digital monitor that stores readings
Depending on the Microlife model chosen, additional features may be included like:
- the option to store readings for two different users
- blood pressure tracking and analysis (including the ability to average 3 back-to-back readings)
- irregular heartbeat detection
- hypertension risk indicator
- AC adaptor (as well as battery power options)
The exact cost of a Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor will vary depending on the model, but prices range from approximately $30 to $70. (This price may be even lower if your insurance covers any of the cost. Using HSA funds may also be a way to reduce the cost of this purchase.)
Already have a Microlife monitor and just need some new parts? Replacement/differently sized cuffs and AC adaptors are also available for purchase. Your Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor will come with a 3- or 5-year limited warranty depending on the style.
Microlife blood pressure monitors have been thoroughly vetted. Prestigious institutions like the British Hypertension Society give them the best of marks.
Although one older study found the Omron blood pressure monitor to be slightly more sensitive when it came to blood pressure, the Microlife was still found to be highly accurate for blood pressure. It was also the only blood pressure monitor accurate enough for atrial fibrillation detection.
To make sure your device stays accurate, Microlife recommends having your monitor checked every 2 years or after any mechanical impact (i.e., if you drop it).
Another way to increase the chance of an accurate reading is to take your at-home monitor with you to the doctor’s office for a calibration. (Your doctor can take your blood pressure on your other arm at the same time and compare the results with those from your Microlife blood pressure monitor.)
All blood pressure monitors should help you to detect if your blood pressure is low or high. Microlife blood pressure monitors also include technology to detect irregular heartbeats.
Microlife AFIB technology can detect atrial fibrillation, which is another potential risk factor for strokes. IHB technology will look at pulse frequency for irregular heartbeats. With IHB technology, the monitor will detect an arrhythmia, but will not be able to distinguish between the different types.
- There are lots of different style options, so you can find one that’s comfortable for you.
- Microlife Average Mode (MAM) will automatically average the data of three consecutive readings.
- Atrial fibrillation detection technology is available with some models.
- Pulse Arrhythmia Detection (PAD) technology is available with some models.
- Consumers frequently rank Omron blood pressure monitors higher (despite the awards Microlife has received).
- They lack some of the technological frills that other brands offer.
Nearly half of the adult population in the United States has hypertension or are taking medication for it. Along with hypertension comes an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, which may mean your doctor will request more frequent blood pressure monitoring.
At-home blood pressure monitors allow you to check your own blood pressure from the comfort of home avoiding constant trips to the doctor and white coat syndrome. Because getting accurate readings is important, a quality blood pressure monitor (that is regularly calibrated) is important.
Microlife blood pressure monitors are one popular option. The recipient of numerous awards, these devices are medically approved for taking blood pressure at home. In addition to offering information about the pressure on your arteries, these devices stand out, because they can detect atrial fibrillation and other irregular heartbeats.
It’s important to keep in mind though that at-home blood pressure monitoring is not a substitute for regular medical care. It’s still important to visit your doctor for routine exams, requested follow-ups, and any emergencies that may come up.