Garmin has just expanded its range of devices with a smart blood pressure monitor. The clinically validated Index BPM gives you a more comprehensive view of your health.
Back in July we wrote about new features being added to Garmin Connect. The update prompted users to grant permission to “write” blood pressure readings to Apple Health. At that time there was no Garmin device that could monitor blood pressure. You also didn’t have the option to add another brand’s blood pressure monitor to sync with Garmin Connect.
Index BPM – Garmin’s first blood pressure monitor
Now it is clear that this was the preparation for the introduction of the Garmin Index BPM. We suspected it, but as of today the device is official. You can order it from the Garmin website. The $149.99 device ships in 7-10 days.
The elegant looking blood pressure monitor measures 58 x 145 x 47 mm. It features a 32.4 x 21.4mm OLED monochrome display with a resolution of 128 pixels x 64 pixels. Its weight is only 320 grams, so you can easily put it in your pocket or backpack when you are traveling somewhere. The cuff folds up for easy storage.
According to Garmin, you can take up to 100 measurements, all of which are stored on the device. So you don’t need to sync it to Garmin Connect too often. There’s both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, but the easy option is to configure the Wi-Fi. This is how readings find their way to the cloud without you having to lift a finger.
Garmin Connect shows a history of your readings (7 days, 4 weeks, 1 year) along with averages. These can be exported in PDF format. This way you can email them to your doctor.
Up to 16 users can use the device and readings are synced to their individual Garmin accounts. Users can also set reminders with the Garmin Connect app and the notifications will be pushed to their smartphones.
If you prefer, you have the option not to connect to your Garmin account. In this case you can use Index BPM as a standalone device that stores your last 100 readings.
As mentioned, this is a clinically validated blood pressure monitor, which means it has the FDA stamp of approval. You can take a single measurement or three consecutive measurements that are averaged.
Everything is powered by four AAA batteries. With normal use, they can maintain index BPM for up to 9 months.
Essential reading: The best fitness trackers and health gadgets
This is a long overdue move from Garmin. Its software can be a fitness and health powerhouse, with one notable exception so far. It did not allow users to save blood pressure readings. Which was odd considering this is one of the most important health metrics a person can track. This was a major omission as you couldn’t have all your health data in one place. The company finally found a remedy. Better late than never!
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