When it comes to self-monitoring of blood pressure the best device (assuming equivalent accuracy) is the one that patients are most likely to use.
The Omron Evolv has become that device for the skeptical cardiologist as it combines a unique one-piece design with built in read-out with a quicker, more comfortable yet highly accurate BP measurement technique.
My previous favorite BP device, the QardioArm remains a close second.
Evolv Form and Function
The Evolv is sleek and stylish in appearance and has no external tubes, wires or connectors. It runs on 4 AAA batteries.
The cuff is pre-formed and is incredibly easy to self-administer to the upper arm. Measurement is simple. Press the start button and it immediately starts inflating the cuff.
The results are displayed on an LCD screen on the cuff.
The Omron uses an oscillometric technique to measure the blood pressure as it is inflating. This “inflationary” technique has been shown to be as accurate as measuring during deflation but is much quicker. A study using the recently developed “Universal Standard Protocol” for evaluating the accuracy of BP devices showed that the Omron Evolv was highly accurate compared to gold standard sphygmomanometry.
Omron has come up with some slick marketing terms for the inflationary and pre-formed wrap aspects:
- Intellisense Technology – Inflates the cuff to the ideal level for each use.
- Intelli Wrap Cuff – For an easy and accurate reading
With the inflationary technique the cuff knows when to stop inflating, (hence “intellisense”) therefore, there is less tendency to go to higher pressures compared to the deflationary technique and less potential for discomfort from those higher pressures.
Evolv Communication-Sharing Results
The Evolv communicates via Bluetooth with the Omron Wellness (or Connect) smartphone app. Your BP and heart rate measurements are easily transferred to this app and can be viewed over time.
If one clicks on the little export icon at the upper right had corner of this summary screen you can “export CSV” which creates a file of BP measurements over a defined period that can then be emailed to yourself, your curious friends, or your doctor.
Another option is to export the summary report but this is a premium feature and requires payment.
Monitoring Heart Rhythm and Blood Pressure-The Omron/Kardia Pro Connection
I’ve discussed in detail how management of my afib patients who have the Kardia mobile ECG device and connect to me via the internet using KardiaPro Remote has tremendously advanced their care.
AliveCor has partnered with Omron and the Omron Connect (or Wellness) app is essentially the Kardia app which my patients utilize to record their ECG recordings and share them with me.
With this app, therefore, patients who have the connection subscription service can utilize the Omron app to share both their ECG and BP recordings with me online. This is really quite an amazing development.
Below are recordings from one of my patients that I took from the patient screen which I view online.
The data can be viewed in various formats including this one which gives a good idea of daytime variation in BP as well as percentage recordings in goal range.
For me, this ability to rapidly view patient’s blood pressures over time in meaningful ways greatly facilitates management. If we could find a way to seamlessly import these data directly into our EMR it would an even bigger step forward.
Speaking To Your BP Cuff
I don’t use Alexa but Omron highlights how the Evolv works with Alexa:
Somehow, this doesn’t seem helpful to me but I tried asking Siri (with both my Apple Watch and iPhone) if she could give me info on my blood pressure and she failed miserably
Evolv-The Future of BP Management?
To summarize why I am so enthusiastic about this BP cuff
- Portability and compactness. One piece design without tubes or wires.
- Rigorously proven accuracy
- Esthetically pleasing
- Quicker and more comfortable than “deflationary” cuffs
- Read-out on cuff-no separate unit or smartphone required
- Communicates well with highly functional app for organizing or reporting BP measurements over time
- Coordination of ECG measurements from Kardia and BP measurements on app through KardiaPro facilitates physician management of patient’s cardiovascular conditions.
N.B. In the course of researching the Omron Evolv I looked at multiple home BP monitor review websites online. Almost without exception these were worthless. I suspect many of these device review sites are funded by companies making the products. Others just aggregate information from company websites and regurgitate it without analysis. Websites with apparent consumer reviews are also suspect as I have found unscrupulous vendors are manipulating the whole review process.
Fortunately, your trusty skeptical cardiologist remains unsullied by any financial connections to corporate America. Or corporate Japan for that matter (It appears Omron has its headquarters in Kyoto, Japan). However, Omron, if you are listening perhaps you can send me for my review one of your new Complete combined BP and EKG monitoring devices!
And one final detail. I checked just now and you can purchase the Evolv at Amazon for $69. Bundles that connect you to your doctor through the cloud and get you an Evolv plus or minus the Kardia ECG device at a reduced price are available through both the Kardia and Omron websites and apps.