Monitoring Blood Pressure With the IPhone

Monitoring Blood Pressure With the IPhone

A home blood pressure monitor is helping iPhone owners view, track and share blood pressure and heart rate data with health care professionals.

Mountain View, Calif.-based iHealth said its dock-and-pressure cuff, dubbed its “Blood Pressure Monitoring System,” allows users to measure their own blood pressure using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

In tandem with a free iOS app, they can track their vitals over time and easily share the data with their physician, either by taking their Apple device to their next visit or via email.

The device is expected to retail for $100 and is now available on iHealth’s website.

“The future of health management starts with the individual,” said Yi Liu, iHealth’s chief executive. “By identifying how your daily life affects your vitals like blood pressure and heart rate, we believe our products can enable more people to be more proactive about their personal healthcare.”

Pairing health monitoring technologies with smartphones could revolutionize health care by allowing patients to be closely monitored during everyday life. Sensors can alert doctors as soon as problems are detected, and devices can gather and help analyze data.

Two years ago, a study concluded that such remote monitoring technologies could save the U.S. $197 billion over 25 years.

Phone makers and health care companies are already beginning to partner on potentially revolutionary health-monitoring devices. Last year, Nokia and Entra Health Systems unveiled a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucometer that can upload test results via a Nokia handset and notify caregivers and family via automated text messages if safe limits are exceeded.

Even a phone without special medical hardware can help users stay healthy through the proliferation of health-related smartphone apps. There are more than 8,700 health-related apps available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, according to a recent study by MobiHealthNews. And a full 9 percent of Americans already use a mobile app to track or manage their health, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

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