Garmin has just released an FDA-cleared (and not FDA-approved) smart blood pressure monitor to complement its other health-focused wearables. the Garmin Index BPM smart blood pressure monitor allows users to measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure and sync the data with the Garmin Connect mobile app, which also works with smartwatches, chest straps, smart scales and bike computers, among other Garmin devices.
When using Index BPM as part of the larger Garmin ecosystem, all of a user’s health and fitness data can be viewed in Garmin Connect, helping to provide a more comprehensive view of overall health in one app.
Users can set reminders to measure blood pressure, and readings can be viewed in 7-day, 4-week and 1-year reporting dimensions, and exported to PDF format if needed to share with healthcare providers.
Up to 16 users can use Index to track their individual readings and sync them individually to their own Garmin Connect accounts, and the cuff is adjustable to fit arm sizes from 9-17 inches in circumference.
The Index BPM requires four AAA batteries to power, and the batteries have an expected battery life of up to nine months. The size of the device is really small, and despite Garmin’s claim of “compactness,” it still looks a lot like a big brother, so it’s unclear if the smartwatch is suitable for continuous blood pressure monitoring.
The Index BPM blood pressure monitor has been cleared by the FDA, meaning that the manufacturer can prove that the product is “substantially equivalent” to similar and legally marketable devices that have FDA approval or FDA gold standard certification. By way of background, rival health company Withings announced its first blood pressure monitor capable of connecting to an iPhone back in 2011. Since then, Withings has released several other models of smart blood pressure monitors, such as the Withings BPM Connect, which is also FDA-approved. so while this is Garmin’s first attempt at a dedicated smart blood pressure monitor, it doesn’t blaze any new trails.
The Garmin Index BPM smart blood pressure monitor retails for $149.99 and can now be purchased directly from the Garmin website or through third-party retailers.