Today, most cardiologists advise their hypertensive patients to check their blood pressure at home and report the values to them. One of the best ways in which you can record your BP at home and transmit it to your doctor is by using QardioArm.
Compared to the more conventional home BP cuffs, QardioArm is way ahead.
In this post, we review the QardioArm and compare it to the Omron 10, which we have previously reviewed here.
QardioArm Real Review
I bought the QardioArm as a present for my father and tested one for myself last month. Read on to find out my findings and how it compares to the Omron 10.
When you get the QardioArm, you will not help but feel that its packaging is like an Apple product. The blood pressure monitor is packed in an aesthetically pleasing box, which you can use for storing or transporting it.
Inside the case is a pocket where the BP manual is stored. The case closes magnetically.
The QardioArm is compact, sleek and looks cool. The design is definitely ahead of that of conventional home blood pressure cuffs. There are no tubes or wires coming off the monitor. The cuff wraps around a plastic rectangular cuboid, which may be red, white, blue, or gold.
The cuff/cuboid is small and portable. It easily fits in a satchel or a purse.
Ease of Use
The BP monitor is easy to use once you understand how it works. However, if you skip reading the manual, you are bound to face some difficulties setting it up.
To begin, you need to download the free Qardio App on your smartphone, create a user login and register an account. If you do not have a smartphone or don’t use the internet, the Qardio is not for you. Registering an account is a breeze.
After setting up the Qardio App, you have to pair it with the QardioArm. The device should be on and its Bluetooth enabled for it to pair with your smartphone.
Unlike other conventional home blood pressure monitors, getting the QardioArm to work is not just a matter of turning it on. Most users on Amazon complain about the device because they did not figure out how to turn it on.
To save you the frustration, follow the guide below to turn on the QardioArm:
- There is a small magnet inside the cut. When you unwrap the cuff, the device will automatically turn on and when you wrap the cuff back, it will automatically turn off. To wrap the cuff up properly, feel whether the magnet will lock into place. When this happens, the device will turn off.
- There is no light that indicates whether the device is on. The only signal you will see is a green flashing light on the side. However, the light will then go out. As long as you saw a green light flash, you can be sure that your device is powered on. There is no need to change the batteries.
- If not used, the device will automatically turn off after a few minutes. You won’t know whether the BP is on or off. If it does not respond when you trigger it from the App, carefully rewrap the cuff and then unwrap it.
The above is an overview of how to turn the QardioArm on and off.
How to Use the Qardio Arm
To use the QardioArm, you have to turn it on and ensure it is paired with your smartphone. From there, put the cuff over your upper arm and ensure the cuboid is over the inner part of your arm. Then, press the green START button and the cuff will magically inflate and start taking your blood pressure measurement.
The app will display your blood pressure with the pulse instantaneously. If you have an irregular heartbeat, the device will display a warning “Irregular heartbeat”. Irregular heartbeat can be as a result of atrial fibrillation or other abnormal heart rhythms.
The QardioArm takes 3 BP readings over a variable amount of time. The final reading displayed is an average of the 3 readings.
You can view your blood pressure and pulse data in a graphic or tabular format, which can be synced with the Apple Health App.
The QardioArm Blood Pressure is quite accurate. I recorded my patient’s blood pressure using the manual technique and compared the readings with that provided by the QardioArm. These tests were done consecutively and on the same arm.
We found the results of the QardioArm to be exactly similar to what our manual instruments were showing.
I, however, had some problems recording the BP of patients with very large arms as the device could not fit. QardioArm is designed to fit most people with an arm size of between 8.7 and 14.6 inches (22 and 37cm). If you have a larger arm, you should look for a different device to measure your BP.
In two patients that were in atrial fibrillation, the device properly noted an “irregular heartbeat” warning.
The accuracy and performance of the Qardio when measuring the BP of my patients was consistent with the information provided at Qardio website:
QardioArm is a highly accurate blood pressure monitor and has undergone independent, formal clinical validation according to ANSI/AAMI/ISO 81060-1:2007, ANSI/AAMI/ISO 81060-2:2009, ANSI/AAMI/IEC 80601-2-30:2009, as well as British Standard EN 1060-4:2004.
QardioArm is a regulated medical device: FDA cleared, European CE marked and Canadian CE marked.
It measures blood pressure with a resolution of 1 mmHg and pulse with 1 beat/min.
The accuracy is +/- 3 mmHg or 2% of readout value for blood pressure, and +/- 5% of readout value for pulse.
QardioArm vs Omron 10
Before buying the QardioArm, I checked reviews of the device on Amazon and Consumer Reports and some consumers were complaining that the device is inaccurate. Most of these buyers gave it a poor score on accuracy.
The highest rated blood pressure monitor on Consumer Reports is the Omron 10. So, I decided to compare the accuracy of these two BPs. U found a close agreement between the two,
I took my own blood pressure with the QardioArm on the right arm and used the Omron 10 to measure the BP on the left arm. The results showed that there was less than 3 mmHg different in the systolic blood pressure between the two.
Unlike what I’ve read on Consumer Reports, I found the QardioArm to be superior to the Omron 10 in a number of ways:
- The Qardio Arm is faster than the Omron 10. The device takes 30 seconds to complete a BP while the Omron 10 takes 50 seconds
- When it comes to BP readings, I can immediately access the QardioArm readings from my iPhone. On the other hand, for the Omron App, a separate Bluetooth synching process is required. In the past, I’ve found the syncing process not to be reliable.
- If needed, you can easily transmit your BP readings via email to our doctors if using the QardioArm
The QardioArm support website is informative and has lots of content. I especially love the manual that is shipped with the device. I highly recommend going through the manual before using the device. It has all the information you need to get started with taking your BP with the QardioArm
Editor’s Verdict: Stylish, Accurate and Highly Recommended
From my working with the QardioArm, I ended up liking it. I was only frustrated that I had to read the manual before starting to use the device. However, reading the manual gave me an easy time getting started with the devices.
The aesthetics of the QardioArm make it an excellent home blood pressure monitoring device for me. The device is compact, sleek and attractive. As a result, I feel more people will be included to use it regularly. I wouldn’t mind carrying the device with me to work on vacation.
I recommend the QardioArm to anyone that is tech-savvy and style-conscious that requires a home blood pressure monitoring device. If you usually take your smartphone to your doctor to shoe your accumulated BP reading, with the QardioArm, you can email it directly to the doctor’s office to get it scanned into your record.
The Qardio comes with a 30-days money back guarantee in case you feel it doesn’t work for you. However, I am positive you will be impressed with its accuracy, sleekness, and performance.