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What is a Wrist Monitor?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A wrist monitor is a blood pressure tracking device made for wearing on the wrist much like wristwatches. At first glance, a wrist monitor looks similar to an oversized wristwatch because it consists of a large screen on a wide wrist strap. Digital wrist monitors have numerical readouts while the aneroid types have a dial-like gauge that displays the wearer’s blood pressure readings. Although wrist monitors may not give exactly the same readings as the blood pressure cuffs in a doctor’s office, they are still considered efficient and accurate when used properly.

The instructions for each particular wrist monitor should be followed exactly for the most accurate blood pressure reading results. Wrist monitors need to be held at heart level to ensure accuracy. Some styles have a sensor that lets the wearer know if the monitor is held in the correct position. A wrist blood pressure monitor may store as many as 60 or more past readings.

Most wrist monitors are battery powered and are designed with easy, one button operation. The compact design of a blood pressure wrist monitor makes it ideal for travel as well as for use at home. Wrist monitors allow patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure, to better manage their health. The readings can help them gauge how well their blood pressure medications are working. Seeing the readings can also remind patients to watch their diet, lower their stress levels and maintain their exercise goals.

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Wrist monitor wearers can bring the device to doctor appointments so the readings can be compared with those indicated on professional medical equipment. The use of wrist monitors is approved by the American Heart Association. Many wrist monitors also detect irregular heartbeats and these may be sold as a heart rate/blood pressure monitor.

Blood pressure wrist monitors that evaluate other body systems are said to have advanced diagnostic features. A wrist blood pressure monitor may track the wearer’s pulse rate; some monitors even measure body fat. The type of blood pressure wrist monitor that measures body fat is often sold as a fitness device that is worn mainly to track heart rates during exercise.

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burcinc
Post 3

@SarahGen-- I have a wrist monitor and the readings have always been accurate. As long as you follow the directions every time, it will be fine. Make sure to wait five minutes before trying again if a reading seems inaccurate.

ZipLine
Post 2

@SarahGen-- I asked my doctor about this and he said that electronic blood pressure monitor readings might be slightly higher than the actual readings. He said that an old-fashioned sphygmomanometer gives the most accurate readings. But obviously, most people don't know how to use it or can't use it on themselves.

So it's better to use an electronic monitor than to use nothing at all. You might want to take your wrist monitor with you on your next doctor visit to compare the readings from the sphygmomanometer with the readings of the wrist monitor.

SarahGen
Post 1

Are wrist monitor readings really accurate?

My blood pressure has been rising very frequently lately and I need to keep track of it all the time. It's a pain to use a regular blood pressure monitor. It takes some time for me to get the cuff on and position it properly, etc. It would make my life easier to use a wrist monitor, but I'm worried about whether the readings will be accurate.

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