The Personal Health Monitor Blog
The Latest Health Gadgets and Technology

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October 14th - October 19th, 2005

Mark of Fitness MF-81 Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

This Amazon best-seller is described as follows:



  • 60-time memory with date, time and average
  • 5-year warranty
  • Clinically proven accurate
  • Large digital display for easy readout
  • Latex-free

Mark of Fitness Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is clinically proven accurate. Unit offers the "IQ" system for maximum speed and comfort. Large digital readout of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse rate. Monitor has 60-time memory with date, time and average. Includes plastic storage case and instructions in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Requires 2 "AAA" batteries. 5-year warranty.


You can see a larger image here. An article on home blood pressure monitors, written by the president of Mark of Fitness, is here. He says:


What you may not know is that the best place for getting meaningful blood pressure reading is in the home. At the doctor’s office, most people are so nervous that the readings taken are abnormally high. In the trade, this is called “white coat syndrome.” Similarly, in retail stores that offer blood pressure reading machines, or promotions that offer a nurse taking blood pressure, the excitement of “being out” also tends to push up blood pressure. The relaxed atmosphere of the home, the taking of blood pressure at about the same time daily, on a frequent basis, is the best way to get accurate, meaningful blood pressure readings.

October 19th, 2005



Tanita BF680W Duo Scale Plus Body Fat Monitor with Athletic Mode and Body Water

This Tanita product – its name is a real mouthful – is another of Amazon’s best-selling personal health monitors. Here’s Amazon’s product description:



  • 0.2-pound graduations
  • 2.25-inch, 2-line display shows weight and body fat percentage
  • Determines weight and estimates body fat and body water with safe, low-level electrical pulse
  • Stores data for two different people
  • 0.1% body fat graduations


A larger image is here. Tanita’s website contains a lengthy discussion of the health benefits of monitoring body water percentage. A long article, “Understanding Body Fat Analysis,” is here.

October 18th, 2005


Tanita’s New Body Composition Monitors

Some interesting information at CalorieLab Calorie Counter News on Tanita’s body composition monitors:


Some scales sold in Japan by Tanita and others incorporate detachable hand-held electrodes that allow electrical signals to be sent through the arms as well as the legs. Tanita claims, however, that its InnerScan technology is accurate with only foot electrodes. The latest versions of Tanita’s scales marketed to women in Japan include a “female diet mode” to advise women when they should put the most effort into their diet. According to Tanita, when estrogen levels are rising, a woman’s mood will be more conducive to sticking with exercise and diet.

October 17th, 2005


Omron HPF 306 Body Fat Tracker

The body fat tracker is another of Omron’s popular personal health monitor products, and another that is high on the Amazon best-seller list.


Here are the product specifications from Amazon:


  • Two modes for accurate results for athletes and non-athletes
  • Measurement results in 7 seconds for both Bioelectrical Impedance Method and BMI (Body Mass Index) calculation
  • Save time with 9 person profile memory
  • 1 year warranty


This device measures your body fat with a gentle, micro-electrical current (you won't feel it). Then, an onboard computer calculates the speed of the current as it travels through your body tissues. Since fat tissues have little or no electrical conductivity, the computer then digitally calculates the results provides an accurate display of your body fat percentage and the weight of your body's fat--all in just seven seconds! The package includes everything you'll need to start today, plus nine personal profile memories.


A larger image is here. The Omron website contains a FAQ page.

October 17th, 2005


Omron HEM 712CLC Auto Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron claims to be the world’s leading manufacturer of blood pressure monitors for home use, and these are among the most popular electronic health gadgets on the Amazon website. Here’s some detail from the site:



  • Clinically proven accuracy
  • Fully automatic unit
  • Compact design
  • 2 year warranty

Product Description
Taking your blood pressure is easy with this fully automatic monitor. Simply wrap the cuff around your arm and press START. In seconds, your blood pressure and pulse readings are shown on the digital display.


A larger image is here. The Omron website carries a helpful FAQ page for its blood pressure monitors. An interesting short article, “Accuracy of a wrist blood pressure monitor,” is here.


The British Blood Pressure Association has published several useful information sheets, including “Blood Pressure Monitors” (which includes a section on choosing a monitor) and “Measuring Your Blood Pressure at Home.” The British Heart Association also produces information about blood pressure monitors.

October 16th, 2005



Braun Ear Thermometer - Thermoscan IRT 3020

The Braun ear thermometer is the third-most-popular electronic health monitor at Amazon. Because it records body temperature so rapidly – through measuring the infra-red heat generated by the eardrum and surrounding tissues - it is especially suitable for use with babies and young children.


Here is the manufacturer’s product description as given by Amazon:


The Braun ThermoScan model 3020, featuring America's best-selling ear thermometer brand, is a great choice for parents to have on-hand for unexpected childhood illnesses. Only Braun ThermoScan is the thermometer brand most used by pediatricians, based on surveys of pediatricians in the U.S. Braun ThermoScan model 3020 offers proven speed, accuracy and ease of use, so you can feel confident taking the temperature of even your youngest family member. The Braun ThermoScan model 3020 measures temperature in the ear in just one second. The ear is an excellent site to measure temperature because the eardrum and surrounding tissue shares blood supply with the temperature control center in the brain. The Braun ThermoScan model 3020 measures the heat generated by the eardrum and surrounding tissue.


The Amazon website also carries reviews by purchasers.


A larger photo is here. The Braun website includes a useful FAQ page.

October 15th, 2005


Tanita BC533 Glass Innerscan Body Composition Monitor

Tanita’s highly-popular body composition and body fat monitors occupy several places on Amazon’s list of the best-selling electronic health monitors. Here are the product specifications from the Amazon site for the BC533 (and a larger picture is here):


Using BIA technology which is widely used in the medical field, the scale is a unique and highly accurate body composition monitor. This product not only measures weight and body fat, it also tells you your body water %, muscle mass, bone mass, daily caloric intake, metabolic age, visceral fat and rates your physique! The Body Water % is the total amount of fluid in the body expressed as a percentage of total weight. The muscle mass is the amount of muscle in your body. The Bone Mass is the weight of your bone in your body. The Metabolic Age compares your Basal Metabolic Rate to the average age associated with that level of metabolism. The Visceral Fat is the fat in the abdominal cavity (stomach), surrounding the vital organs. The Physique Rating is a rating of your body type; 1-9.


In May this year the monitor got a glowing review from US News & World Report:


At last, a scale that people can't wait to step on. The $120 InnerScan from Tanita not only reveals your weight and body fat percentage but goes on to calculate visceral fat (the amount around the organs), bone mass, metabolic age (the average age associated with your metabolism), a physique rating, and an estimate of daily calories to maintain your current state. If you're self-conscious, take heart: At least it doesn't laugh at you.


The bathroom box has been growing smarter over the past decade, thanks to a doctor's office technology called bioelectrical impedance analysis. If you stand barefoot on one of the contraptions, small electrical currents you can't feel run through your body. It takes longer for the signals to get through fat than muscle, so based on its readings, the scale--dubbed a body-composition monitor--can read what's under your skin. Provided with facts like age, height, and gender, they can figure out even more.

October 14th, 2005


Omron HJ112 Premium Pedometer

Let’s launch this new blog with a look at the best-selling electronic health monitors at Amazon. (It’s a list that changes every hour, so there will be an element of subjectivity in the choices.)


First off, a hugely popular product, the HJ112 Premium Pedometer. 


According to Omron’s own specifications:


The Omron Digital Premium Pedometer features advanced technology, which provides added durability and flexibility to count steps at all positions perpendicular to the ground. This feature allows the user to place the pedometer in a pocket, bag or clip it to a belt.


  • Counts steps, aerobic steps, distance in miles and calories burned.
  • Aerobic steps are counted separately when walking or jogging more than 60 steps per minute or more than 10 minutes continuously.
  • Lustrous metallic lightweight design with detachable pedometer holder and spring clip.
  • 1 year warranty.


(Click here for a large image.)


A short review of the Omron pedometer is at the About: Health & Fitness: Walking website, where it is the top pick. According to the review:


This advanced design lets you wear it on your belt or carry it in your pocket, clip it to your bra, anywhere it is perpendicular to the ground. The Omron HJ-112 counts steps, calculated distance and calories burned. It also tracks aerobic steps separately when walking or jogging more than 60 steps per minute or more than 10 minutes continuously. The Omron HJ-112 has a 7-day memory, a feature I prize greatly. Top rated for accuracy by a consumer magazine.

October 14th, 2005



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