We are on a bit of a health kick for 2023. We have an editor swimming daily, others are just trying to be more mindful of their health for various reasons. I fall in the latter camp particularly after a recent visit to the GP and a bit of heads up from Withings.
When the offer came to review the Withings BPM Monitor along with the Body Cardio, they didn’t need to twist my arm.
How do you envisage a blood pressure monitor? There is the grey sleeve that goes around your bicep, a tube that goes to a pump / machine obtain the reading. If you have a really old school doctor then it would go to a squeeze bulb, a gauge and a stethoscope.
The BPM Monitor has the grey sleeve, and a white controller that is permanently affixed to the sleeve.
The controller itself looks a bit like a portable battery. It is branded on the left side, a round button on the right and a LED matrix screen in between. A micro-USB port on one end completes the unit.
The mechanism for securing the BPM Connect around your bicep is just like any other that I have seen. The design is simple, works perfectly fine and no need to reinvent the wheel.
Every Withings journey begins with the Health Mate app. I won’t go over it again from the beginning as I have covered it in detail in previous reviews of their products.
Adding the BPM Connect was similar to the Body Cardio I reviewed recently. Largely a pain free process with some hiccups.
The instructions call for pressing the button for three seconds and the screen will lit up with “Setup”.
The initial setup stage requires a Bluetooth connection between between your device and the BPM Connect. Once you authorise the pairing, it will automatically check and apply any firmware updates.
Once the BPM Monitor reboots with the updates, it offers the option to connect to a WiFi network. Just like the Body Cardio, this is so that you don’t always need your phone nearby to transfer your data.
The setup wizard takes you through your first reading. To start with, it asks you two relax and take five before we jump in.
Just like your GP would do, you need to roll up your sleeve and have the cuff directly on your skin with the tube along your inner arm. There is an orientation requirement here – the button needs to be on the bottom when you put the cuff on.
I am not sure if the Health Mate app has kicked in here to recognise that I am predominantly right handed, the instructions for the BPM Connect asks for me to insert my left arm. The clever placement of the Withings logo is to help you align with your heart for the optimal position to take a reading.
Taking a measurement requires two button presses – the first one to turn it on, the second to start the measurement. That is.
The sounds of the cuff being inflated is unmistakable, but the BPM Connect screen will pulse a line to indicate that it is taking a measurement. Based on previous measurements, it will also pop up the user profile that it recognises along with the numbers.
I mention this every time I review a Withings device, I love just how seamless their products integrate into Health App.
My blood pressure results pops up on the home screen, adding to the other metrics that has been collected with the ScanWatch and Body Cardio. There is no fumbling around to add more cards to the deck.
Similarly in the dashboard view, the new information is added under the Heart section. Tapping into the card gives you the hard values as well as trend for the week, month and year.
As for me, the BPM Connect is reporting that I have Grade 1 hypertension and the measurements is inline with what my GP told me at the start of 2023. Whilst it is not requiring immediate medical triage, it is certainly raise the red flag on my general health.
The Withings portfolio is really the sum of all parts. The seamless presentation of each additional set of data in the Health Mate makes it a powerful dashboard to see your overall health posture. The data can be exported so that the relevant professionals can see the trend.
Prior to the start of 2023, I don’t recall the last time I ever had my blood pressure checked. Suffice to say it has been a very long time. The Grade 1 hypertension diagnosis is a wake up call. With the Withings BPM Monitor at home, I can take regular metrics of my health, combined it with data from the Body Cardio and see the trend. This allows me to see what effects lifestyle changes has on my body, but also provide something more than a point-in-time picture to my GP when I do visit.
The Withings BPM has a RRP of $179.99 and is available from The Good Guys and Amazon AU.
DRN would like to thank Withings for their on-going support.
Conditions of use: Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) can make BP measurements inconclusive.
Materials: PC plastic, Fabric
Dimensions: 50 x 65 x 155 mm (1.97 x 2.56 x 6.10 inches); 250 g
Arm circumference: 22 to 42 cm (9 to 17 in)
Display: LED matrix screen
Storage and memory: Unlimited storage on Withings cloud, Up to 8 measurements on-device between synchronisations
Power supply: Rechargeable battery; Charge via micro-USB cable
Battery life: up to 6 months
- Blood pressure monitor
- Systolic blood pressure
- Diastolic blood pressure
- Heart rate