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Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

3 Review(s)

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Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

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Nice BP monitor for the right user, but a poor manual Review by K. Bunker
This monitor appears to be a high quality device. The device's memory capabilities allow it to store 100 sets of measurement values for each of two users, plus 8 weeks worth of weekly averages for morning and evening readings for each of two users.

As one might expect of a device with fairly elaborate options like those, it has a somewhat complex and non-intuitive user interface. This monitor would be overkill for someone who's only interested in making an occasional spot-check of his or her blood pressure, and will likely be a source of frustration for anyone who's not comfortable with high-tech gadgets.

Beyond that, my only complaint with the unit is its user manual. This is a 50-page booklet, and you'll want to keep it on hand if you intend to use any of the monitor's options beyond the most basic. Unfortunately, it's quite badly written. In no particular order, here are some of my peeves with the manual:

The user is instructed to press the SET button for various functions. Unfortunately, there is no button on the device marked "SET", and at no point is it explained what this button looks like. (By reference to one of the illustrations, I deduced that it's the button with a clock face on it.)

There are separate instructions for taking a reading in "single mode" and in "Truread(TM) mode". As far as steps the user takes, these "modes" are identical, so the duplicate instructions are confusing and a waste of space. To find out what the heck the differences are between these modes and how you choose one or the other, you have to refer to another part of the manual, "Setting the date/time and TruRead".

Throughout the manual, the button with a right-facing arrow is called the "up" button, and the button with a left-facing arrow is the "down" button. Matching the name to the actual direction of the arrows--or vice-versa--would have been nice.

Some sentences that are simply bad English appear: "The first measurement is complete, waiting to start the second measurement." and "While holding the Memory button and the Start/Stop button simultaneously for more than two seconds all values will be deleted."

Aside from those complaints, this appears to be a device of respectable quality, as I noted. One can hope that the manual will be updated and improved, just as one hopes that its currently-useless and error-riddled Amazon page will be fixed and fleshed out. (Posted on 5/3/2012)
Omron 785 Add ons are hard to use Review by Chris Zee Shutterbug
Not as useful/cost effective as the older/simpler models despite the wiz bang enhancements. I have been an Omron user for about 10 years (7 series)from the time that consumer magazines rated their units as tops in accuracy. Arrhythmia or any pulse irregularity will cause problems with many other units, but not the Omron, either the older or the newer models. So what has changed? The display size and the white on black digits are indeed more readable, but the old plain LCD were not much worse. The comfort cuff at first I thought it would be more easy to put on. Its not. The thumb "guide" panel is positioned all wrong, if you put your thumb on the panel, the air tube winds up closer to the outside of the elbow as opposed to the inside where its supposed to be. The air tube length is short, but it is exactly the same length as the old units used to have. The preformed circular shape initially makes you think that putting it on with just one hand would be easier than in the past. Its not. The old style cuff you could leave in a very loose position and slip it on as a sleeve. Don't think about using the old cuff with the new base unit either. Omron has changed the diameter of the fitting. The old cuff tube flops around in the new size base opening. The unit design is very quirky as well. The on/off and the start/stop are now on one button. Unless you utilize the 3 reading averaging function (pain to use as you have to set it up during the turning on period), each time you want to redo the pressure test, you have to turn off the unit. The enhancements overall are very counterintuitive, the buttons have icons only and do not seem to make any sense. Whoever designed the user interface did not run very many real world tests. There are user A and user B functions, but unless you figure out how to use the "memo icon/averaging" and the day/night button and the left/right = up/down combo button, you will not be able to access the 7 weeks worth of averaging data for each person and for each time of day. Granted this is a very useful function, but even with the user manual in hand you will have to scratch your head a bit to figure it out. I recommend that you do not use the poorly implemented statistical functions in the unit itself and chart the daily readings in a spreadsheet or even on a piece of paper. Caution-I lost the built in averaging data when I unplugged and moved the unit without having batteries in it. The power adapter now comes with the units, and it does work in the older models if you want to do a comparison. In actual use I found the unit to be very consistent, obtaining reading in about 30 seconds. The inflation pressure monitors the pulse and only inflates about 20-30 mm Hg above what the highest expected reading will be. This behavior is about exactly the same as on older units. I have gotten a number of E1 errors, about 20% of the time I use the unit. This is a cuff problem error, the new cuff or error checking does not seem to be as fault tolerant as the older units. Placing the cuff over clothes, starting with the cuff overly loose, or the air tube too far away from the artery seems to generate more errors than before.
So in summary the latest and the greatest and more expensive model gets you a lot of gadgets that are not very user friendly. Keep the manual glued to the bottom of the unit, or better yet plot the results on a computer. The display is nice, the cuff is comfortable, but not as easy to adjust, or as fault tolerant as older models.

Update: The E1 error is annoying. I get it up to 33% (1 out of 3 measurements). The unit will not work with rechargable batteries (voltage is lower). Starts to inflate, then at about 20-30mm pressure the battery symbol flashes and the unit stops with a E2 error.
Update#2: I ran down my second set of batteries (good for about 75 measurements). Knowing that I lost data before, this time I plugged the unit into the AC adapter before changing the batteries. However I lost ALL the data, averages and individual readings, but not the clock interestingly enough. So it seems that if you run the batteries down to the point where the cuff only inflates part way, you have already lost data. My suggestion is to change the batteries as soon as the battery symbol starts to flash, which precludes using the rechargable batteries. (Posted on 5/3/2012)
Excellent Blood Pressure Monitor (Physician Review) J Review by O. Brown
I got this blood pressure monitor for my husband's use--he is a physician with high blood pressure. He was not interested in using it to monitor his own blood pressure, but was very interested in using it in his clinic, as he had the manual type (called a sphygmomanometer) and his nurse was showing signs of carpal tunnel syndrome from manually pumping it up for each patient. So I agreed that he could use it there if he would write a review for me. Although this will not give feedback on the use of this monitor for individual use, I think that the review by a physician will be worthwhile and add something to the many reviews already published here. Here is his review:

"We just started using the Omron BP785, Series 10, blood pressure monitor in our medical clinic. We have tried other automatic blood pressure monitors before and were not satisfied as the readings were erratic at times. We have been impressed with the accuracy and ease of use of the Omron device.

The device is small, light, and has an easy-to-read face that measures 4.75 inches by 6 inches. The back of the device is elevated off the flat surface 3.5 inches, the front is elevated only .75 inches so the device is manufactured to rest on a flat surface and the face is tilted forward towards the user for ease of reading. The readings are in large size numbers also for easy reading.

The Omron, Series 10 has many unique features including an automatic calibration check system with dual sensors that automatically check each reading to insure accuracy. Other features include a cuff wrap guide to make sure the cuff is properly applied. The pre-formed cuff provided makes the cuff easy to apply and fits all size upper arms. In the "True Read Mode" the device takes three separate consecutive readings, one minute apart and displays the average of the three readings following the guidelines of the American Heart Association. The device also has an Irregular Heartbeat Detector that alerts the user of any irregular beats which is very helpful in a busy clinic. This allows my nurse to notify me of any patients with a previously unknown irregular heartbeat so I can refer them to a cardiologist ASAP. The device also has a 200 reading memory storage with date and time-stamp for easy research of the last 200 readings.

We have checked the Omron's accuracy against our standard sphygmomanometer and it appears to be very accurate for all three parameters of Systolic BP, Diastolic BP, and Pulse.

I would recommend this monitor for home use and even for medical office use without any reservations."

He said that he absolutely would give this product five stars. He has only been using it for about a week, so I will update this review after several months of his using it to see about a hundred patients a week. This would be useful in assessing its long term durability.

Highly recommended. (Posted on 5/3/2012)

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