The skeptical cardiologist was shocked to hear that there was a smartphone app which he had heretofore been unaware of that claimed to measure blood pressure.
Made by Aura Life and named Instant Blood Pressure, the app was apparently selling like hotcakes on the Apple app store until it was abruptly removed in 2015.
Users are instructed to put the top edge of the smartphone on the left side of the chest while placing the right index finger over the smartphone’s camera
Since it was created by “a team of forward-thinking biomedical engineers and software developers” and is to be used to measure one’s blood pressure one might be fooled into thinking that it might accurately measure blood pressure. Don’t be silly!
The IBP web site clearly states:
“Instant Blood Pressure is intended for recreational use only. It is not a replacement or substitute for a cuff or other blood pressure monitor. Instant Blood Pressure’s performance and accuracy characteristics do not meet international standards for a blood pressure monitor intended for clinical use.”
How does one use a blood pressure device that is not really intended to measure blood pressure for recreational use? Beats me.
A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that the app is really inaccurate: 77% of patients with hypertensive blood pressure levels were assured that their blood pressure was in the nonhypertensive range.
The authors note:
Between its release on June 5, 2014, and removal on July 30, 2015 (421 days), the IBP app spent 156 days as one of the top 50 best-selling iPhone apps; at least 950 copies of this $4.99 app were sold on each of those days.2Validation of this popular app or any of the similar iPhone apps still available (eg, Blood Pressure Pocket, Quick Blood Pressure Measure and Monitor), have not been performed.
Don’t rely on any smartphone app to accurately measure your blood pressure. None of them have been validated and they are being promoted by charlatans looking for a quick buck off naive consumers.
Excuse me while I check my BP with my Omron 10 real BP monitor. I think it might be really high now.