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What Is a Finger Blood Pressure Monitor?

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  • Written By: Dorothy Bland
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2014
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A finger blood pressure monitor is a small electronic device designed for calculating blood pressure at home. Although most individuals will have their blood pressure checked during regular visits at their health care provider’s office, these visits may not provide enough information to determine if a course of treatment is working. A home blood pressure monitor, on the other hand, can be used to provide a detailed and accurate analysis of an individual’s blood pressure over time.

Individuals who have hypertension may regularly use a home blood pressure monitor. A finger blood pressure monitor is also likely to be recommended for those with high blood pressure, low blood pressure, or coronary heart disease. Another group that might use blood pressure monitors are pregnant women, as the electronic devices can be operated daily to test blood pressure levels and quickly detect pregnancy-induced hypertension. As blood pressure rates also tend to vary among seniors, health care professionals might recommend regular monitoring at home for this group as well.

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Finger blood pressure monitors are generally considered to be one of the newer options available for at-home blood pressure testing. The more traditional blood pressure monitors use a gauge and a cuff placed around the upper arm and are inflated to determine blood pressure. Conversely, the finger blood pressure monitor provides digital readouts on the screen. The technology typically operates by having users place their index finger within a finger cuff and press a button to inflate. Within a few seconds, results will be displayed on the digital screen.

The benefits of using finger blood pressure monitors have helped these small portable devices catch on and become the preferred device for some. These machines usually feature an unobtrusive design and are often not much larger than hand-held electronic gaming systems. This lightweight design also increases convenience, allowing finger blood pressure devices to be carried in handbags and backpacks for utilization when traveling, going work, or using at school.

Before choosing a finger blood pressure monitor, users can improve their satisfaction with the final product by being aware of certain issues. According to some health care professionals, finger devices may not be as accurate as cuffs placed around the upper arm. Others, however, point out that it is also possible to get an inaccurate reading using a wrist cuff due to the trouble that some users may have with getting the cuff up over the arm and having to manually inflate it. If a finger-based device is preferred, carefully following the included instructions may help improve accuracy. Users can also discuss their options with their doctor and may be able to get the accuracy of their device checked at their doctor’s office.

Using finger blood pressure monitors allows the individual with a serious health condition to be proactive about monitoring their own health. Despite their many uses, however, not everyone can benefit from having a blood pressure device in the home. Individuals with certain conditions such as heart arrhythmias, for instance, may not be able to get accurate results using home monitoring devices.

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