Are you one of the millions of people who own a smartwatch? If so, have you ever wondered how accurate the blood pressure readings are on your watch? Recent studies have shown that the accuracy of smartwatch blood pressure readings can vary significantly.
In some cases, they may be as accurate as traditional blood pressure monitors, while in other cases they may be off by as much as 20 points. So, what does this mean for you? If you’re relying on your smartwatch to give you accurate blood pressure readings, you may want to think again. Instead, use it as a tool to help track your overall progress over time and consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Table of Contents
- Difference between heart rate and blood pressure
- Can a smartwatch monitor blood pressure?
- How does a smartwatch measure blood pressure?
- How accurate is Smart watch’s blood pressure?
- Research about the smartwatch’s blood pressure accuracy:
- Is it worth investing in a smartwatch to track your blood pressure levels?
Difference between heart rate and blood pressure
You might be wondering are the heart rate and blood pressure same things? I also thought so. But they’re different! The differences between heart rate and blood pressure are essential to understand before talking about accuracy.
The heart rate (also known as a “pulse”) is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Blood pressure is a measure of the force with which your heart pumps blood throughout your entire body.
Can a smartwatch monitor blood pressure?
Though smartwatches track your Heart Rate accurately, they can not estimate high fluid levels in our body as we do with regular upper arm cuff-style blood pressure monitors at home or when visiting the doctor’s office for an appointment.
How does a smartwatch measure blood pressure?
Smartwatches can measure blood pressure with the help of an Electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, Optical Heart Rate Sensor(PPG), and PTT (Pulse Transit Time) technology.
The Pulse Transit Time or PTT is a measure of how quickly your blood pressure changes with respect to the passage of time. The ECG gives us information about when you’re heart beats each beat, while this later sensor on our wrist can tell if it has been accelerating or decelerating for more than 1 second.
How accurate is Smart watch’s blood pressure?
In one word, they are not accurate! It is very simple to understand that the wrist is not the best spot to measure blood pressure. Your upper arm may give more accurate measurements.
You may get an estimated result but they are never 100% accurate. The variance may go as much as 20%. As a result, relying just on your smartwatch to keep track of your blood pressure would not be advisable.
Research about the smartwatch’s blood pressure accuracy:
The average differences between the Everlast watch and reference were 16.9 (13.5) mm Hg for SBP and 8.3 (6.1) mm Hg for DBP. The average difference between the Bodimetrics performance monitor and the reference was 5.3 (4.7) mm Hg for SBP. Conclusions: The Everlast smartwatch and the BodiMetrics Performance Monitor we tested are not accurate enough to be used as BP measurement devices.Van Helmond, Noud & Freeman, Cecilia & Hahnen, Christina & Haldar, Nilanjan & Hamati, Jacquelyn & Bard, Dylan & Murali, Vignesh & Merli, Geno & Joseph, Jeffrey. (2019). The accuracy of blood pressure measurement by a smartwatch and a portable health device. Hospital Practice. 47. 10.1080/21548331.2019.1656991.
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Is it worth investing in a smartwatch to track your blood pressure levels?
The answer is No. You should not invest a large amount in a smartwatch to track your blood pressure. It is better to use the regular upper arm cuff style to get accurate results. Rather than blood pressure, you can monitor your heartbeat rate accurately with a smartwatch Heart Monitor Sensor.
Read Also: Does Fitbit Track Blood Pressure?
While smartwatch technology may be increasing in popularity for its ability to track other health metrics such as heart rate, it is still not accurate enough to rely on solely for tracking blood pressure levels. The study found that the average difference between the Everlast watch and reference was 16.9 (13.5) mm Hg for SBP and 8.3 (6.1) mm Hg for DBP. The average difference between the Bodimetrics performance monitor and the reference was 5.3 (4.7) mm Hg for SBP.
Therefore, it is not worth investing in a smartwatch to track your blood pressure levels at this time. However, if you are looking for a smartwatch to monitor your heart rate, there are a number of devices on the market that can do so accurately.