I'll admit it: I was skeptical of the Omron-630, a watch-like device designed to measure blood pressure and pulse rate easily and accurately. Where's the armband? Where's the stethoscope?
But after testing the $119 device (available at major drug stores) randomly for a weekend, I came away impressed. All of my electronic readings were within four points of the traditional readings (a nurse friend tagged along for fun -- no, she didn't wear her whites). I'll even go on record saying that the "oscillometric" system, which the device uses, is now my favorite noninvasive blood pressure measurement method.
I wasn't supposed to take readings while eating, exercising, or during times of stress. But that got boring, so I served up a few curveballs, just to see how the device would respond once my 35-year-old ticker started humming. As you see below, it didn't miss a beat.
No matter what I tried, the Omron-630 kept up.
|Activity||Blood Pressure||Heart Rate|
|Resting on the couch||119/79||60|
|After a 5-mile run||101/65||143|
|5 minutes jumping rope||125/84||125|
|Triple-bogeying the 17th||129/87||123|
|Watching a "Baywatch" rerun||110/79||69|