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Consumer Reports and Blood Pressure Monitors

Omron HEM-711 blood pressure monitorThe Consumer Reports journal is highly regarded, and is widely consulted by shoppers making a purchase. The publication maintains a website, and freely gives out a limited amount of excellent information. However, its comprehensive tests are generally for subscribers only.

In its September 2008 edition it reviewed blood pressure monitors and blood glucose monitors. The report is for subscribers only (although an online subscription to Consumer Reports Health is not expensive). From an overview of the results:

No one should settle for less than high-scoring models, since at-home monitoring can help people manage their blood pressure or diabetes and stave off such serious complications as heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems. Experts say relying on the readings of an inaccurate model could lead to inadequate care.

...Our tests included laboratory measurements of the blood-pressure monitor and blood-glucose meter models’ accuracy and scores by panels of people who rated the devices’ ease of use and commented on various features. Here’s what we found:

Automatic arm-type blood-pressure monitors were more accurate, overall, than wrist monitors. Four of the arm models tested were judged to be excellent, partly because of their accuracy:

* Omron Women’s Advanced Elite,
* CVS by Microlife Deluxe Advanced,
* Omron HEM-711AC,
* ReliOn HEM-741CREL, a CR Best Buy at $40.

Only one blood-glucose meter, the OneTouch UltraMini, was rated excellent overall. It had top accuracy and consistency scores and was very easy to use. The Ascensia Contour blood-glucose meter was rated a very good choice because of its excellent accuracy and combination of features, and its very good consistency. The ReliOn Ultima, another very good choice, was also a CR Best Buy at just $9 (see blood-glucose meter Ratings, available to subscribers.) and its testing strips cost just 44 cents each.

Earlier, in June 2003, it also reviewed home blood pressure monitors. This report is for subscribers only. However, some of its recommendations have found their way onto other websites. (Note that some of the models in the report have been superseded by newer units and are no longer available.)

Thus, an article in the Clinical Diabetes journal said:

A recent Consumer Reports article tested 16 of the top-selling home monitors. The number one recommended automatic inflation monitor was the Omron Intellisense HEM-711AC, which can detect irregular heartbeats in addition to accurate blood pressure. The Intellisense monitors have incorporated design technology known as "fuzzy logic," which is potentially capable of calculating an anticipated systolic blood pressure so as to keep over-inflation of the cuff to a minimum. This feature has reduced the level of discomfort often associated with high cuff pressures and is now integrated by most manufacturers.

In 2004 the Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter published a three-page newssheet "Home Blood Pressure Monitors" (no longer online), for doctors to give their patients. It included a comparison table of leading models. It said that, among automatic arm units, the "products rated most highly by Consumer Reports" were:

Omron HEM-711AC
Omron HEM-712C, Omron HEM-712CLC
• ReliOn HEM-741CREL
Lifesource One Step UA-767V, Lifesource One Step UA-767VL

It said two manual arm units were "equally rated by Consumer Reports":

• Lifesource Manual Inflation BPM UA-702V, UA-702VL
• Lumiscope Semi-Automatic BPM 1060

And it said that one automatic wrist unit was "rated most highly by Consumer Reports":

• Omron HEM-637

In May 2005, Choice magazine, the Australian equivalent of Consumer Reports, published its own survey of 18 home blood pressure monitors. Many of the units tested in Australia are not available in the US market (for example, Citizen blood pressure monitors are popular in Australia but are not generally sold in America), so the report is not particularly useful for American consumers. However, it is worth noting that the top-rated model in Australia was the Lifesource UA-767.

* See the Newest Products and Get the Latest Prices on Blood Pressure Monitors.

See also my report Guide to Buying the Best Home Blood Pressure Monitor.

And for the latest information, and to see what other customers are buying, check out the following Amazon.com best-seller lists (which are updated hourly):

* Best-Sellers in Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Arm Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

August 6th, 2008

 

See Also:

Reviews
LifeSource Blood Pressure Monitors
LifeSource UA-767 Auto-Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor
LifeSource UB-328 Wrist Auto Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor
Lumiscope Blood Pressure Monitors
Mark of Fitness Blood Pressure Monitors
Mark of Fitness MF-81 Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron Elite 7300W Women's Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-432 Manual Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-711AC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-711DLX Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-712C Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-773AC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-780 Auto-Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-790IT Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors
Panasonic Blood Pressure Monitors
Panasonic EW3111W Precise Logic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Samsung Blood Pressure Monitors
WrisTech Blood Pressure Monitor

Articles
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors - An Introduction
Best Blood Pressure Monitors
Consumer Reports and Blood Pressure Monitors
Guide to Buying the Best Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Home Blood Pressure Monitors - Are They Accurate?
Home Blood Pressure Monitors – Selected Internet Resources
Manual Blood Pressure Monitors
Omron Blood Pressure Monitors - Why Are They So Popular?
Talking Blood Pressure Monitors
Technology Award for LifeSource Telemedicine Blood Pressure Monitors
Welch Allyn Blood Pressure Monitors
Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors - Should I Buy One?

 

 

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