May is Blood Pressure Education Month with May 17 serving as World Hypertension Day to raise awareness and help detect, prevent, and control the health issue. This month we’ve been trying out the most portable blood pressure monitor medically cleared by the FDA, the Withings BPM Connect. Read along for a detailed look at this blood pressure monitor with Apple Health integration plus how far Withings has come in recent years.
I first bought the Withings Connect blood pressure monitor back in 2014 (above on left) and have been using it for the last eight years. It’s still working but I was curious to check out the company’s latest iteration, the BPM Connect.
Arriving with a number of upgrades over my old model, this highly-portable blood pressure monitor is a really convenient way to get medically accurate readings that automatically get pulled into Apple Health along with the Withings Health Mate app.
Hands-on: Withings BPM Connect portable blood pressure monitor
- Super-portable design
- 1.97 x 2.56 x 6.1 inches (55 x 65 x 155 mm)
- Fits arms 9-17 inches (22-42 cm)
- Integrated matrix LED screen
- One-button operation
- Can be used without iPhone present
- Built-in rechargeable battery (micro USB)
- Up to 6-month battery life
- Measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure plus heart rate
- Deemed medically accurate by the FDA
- FSA-eligible purchase
- Apple Health support
- Price: $99.95
Note: Withings says “Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) can make BP measurements inconclusive.”
Withings has really nailed the design with BPM Connect. Instead of using a hard shell cuff, the fabric design makes this a very portable blood pressure monitor. It’s about the size of a can of soda and has a built-in rechargeable battery.
With battery life of up to 6 months, that means you don’t have to mess with bringing a charging cord if you want to take BPM Connect with you on trips, even long ones.
It would have been nice to see USB-C used instead of micro USB but charging is so infrequent that I don’t find it to be an issue.
Along with the convenient portable design, I really like the user experience. Once it’s set up, press the button once to turn on the BPM Connect and press one more time to start a blood pressure reading.
You can also press and hold the button to switch to triple readings. That uses a one-minute interval between each of the three readings and you can also change the rest time in the Health Mate app.
Once a reading is complete, you’ll see your results right on the BPM Connect display. Along with your diastolic/systolic measurements and heart rate, you’ll see a green, yellow, or red LED to quickly tell if your numbers are in the healthy range or elevated.
And the data is wirelessly shared and saved with the Withings Health Mate app and Apple Health (when enabled).
Another neat feature if you’re sharing BPM Connect with family members, it will recognize who is taking a measurement with the name even showing directly on the LED display.
Apple Health integration
Withings has extensive Apple Health support with its devices and it’s easy to track blood pressure in the Health app along with the Health mate app.
In Apple Health, blood pressure data automatically imported from the Withings Health Mate app shows up under Browse > Heart.
Here’s a look at the Health Mate app. Under the “Devices” tab, you can see the BPM Connect’s battery status, check for updates, and customize settings.
When you view your blood pressure readings in the Dashboard, you can add notes, quickly share via email to your doctor (tap the … button in the top right corner), delete readings, and more.
Portable blood pressure monitor: BPM Connect conclusion
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and portable blood pressure monitor medically cleared by the FDA, the Withings BPM Connect should be at the top of your list. The only small piece of constructive criticism I have is that Withings uses micro USB for charging (cable included) instead of USB-C.
Also, a great companion is the Withings Body Cardio smart scale that features body composition readings, including fat, muscle, water, and even Vascular Age.
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