This new model B26 upper arm blood pressure monitor from MEDGRAM , a name new to me, is well priced at just £21.90 from Amazon. Despite the budget price, it has several features that make it well worth investigating.
I used to use a cheap wrist position BP monitor but I was not confident in the accuracy of the results which seem to vary depending on how I positioned my wrist. My GP loaned me an upper arm cuff monitor which seemed so much easier to use and more consistently accurate. Since then I have been interested in finding a good quality alternative model.
In the box can be found the monitor itself, arm cuff, USB power cable and User Guide. Build quality seems fine with nothing looking likely to fail, fall off or break. No batteries were included.
The device is powered by four AAA batteries but has a USB port on one side so an external PSU can be used, any standard USB phone charger will do the job. The cuff is well made and robust with a steel ring and velcro fastening and a generous length of tubing.. It has built-in memory which supports up to two users and automatically records up to 120 readings per user after which it overwrites the oldest. This is an advance on the 90 record limit of almost every rival device I have tested. However, there is no provision to export the recorded data.
On the front to the right of the monochrome non-backlit LCD screen are buttons for Settings, Memory and Start/Stop. On the base of the unit is the compartment for the batteries, and on one side power-in socket and on one side the port for the inflatable cuff. The screen displays icons for User ID, time/date, battery level, Systolic pressure, Diastolic pressure, WHO function, mute, pulse rate, pulse icon, memory, memory status. Should abnormal blood pressure or arrhythmia be detected an alert will display.
Fit the cuff to the left arm with the tube facing toward the wrist. Press START/STOP, the cuff inflates and a reading is taken and shown on the screen, the HEART symbol pulsates and the current heart rate is displayed. The last 120readings for each User are automatically stored in the memory. Any unusual readings are flagged and alerted. Press the memory button to show an average reading for each user or to scroll through past readings.
Comparing it to the rather more expensive unit supplied to me by the NHS and others I have tried I have to say that the results are broadly comparable and well within the normal variance expected between readings. This is otherwise a pretty standard monitor, it works well, is quick and easy to use, has the two users memory that all but the most basic models now have. The only features lacking, for me, are a storage case and the ability to export data. The main difference between this and the more pricey models are the smaller mono LCD screen, lack of voice prompts, and a slight reduction in build quality from premium to good.
This is a still fine quality blood pressure monitor, that is easy to use, reliable and looks great.
If you are not interested in the refinements of the dearer rivals and are only need ease of use and accurate results, then will be a great buy.
Good Build Quality
Easy to Use
Two User Option
External Power Option
Arrhythmic Irregularity Alert
Batteries not included
Screen Not Backlit
No Carry Case
No Data Export