Toolkits

Mobile Blood Pressure - Deployment & Support

The deployment of mobile blood pressure equipment can be made significantly easier if proper planning activities take place prior to patients making purchases. It is critical for consumers to analyze their individual comfort level with technology as well as their means of sending data back to the provider or an electronic health record before deciding which products to buy.

Planning

Purchasing a mobile blood pressure monitor can be frustrating and expensive if the user’s needs are not identified.  In addition, the skill set and existing technology of the user need to be considered.  Patients should ask themselves these questions before considering a mobile blood pressure cuff:

• Is this more for home use or constant travelling?
• Is the primary use for one person or more?
• Is the primary purpose for personal data tracking or sharing?
• Do I plan to use a laptop, tablet, or a smart phone?  What kind, and which cuffs will work with it? 
• Am I comfortable installing software? Will the vendor help me to use the equipment and software?
• What is the Internet or cellular network like in my home area? Do I have access to either from my home? 
• What kind of batteries will this device need?
• If my eyesight is poor, will the size of the cuff’s display be a factor?
• Does the device have a warranty? If so, for how long after purchase?

Purchasing

Depending on the answers to the above questions, purchasing this may be as simple as placing an online order for the desired blood pressure cuff, or may require additional expense if the patient has no laptop, tablet or smart phone to use with the device.  

Deployment 

The blood pressure monitors have differences in how easy it is to install their software.  For example, if one is already familiar with iPhone applications, then that download is relatively simple.  On the other hand, connecting the unit to link with a personal health record is more complicated.  Consumers should be aware that some of the written deployment instructions, including web links, may have changed by the time the product is received. Work closely with the distributor/vendor if software installation becomes problematic.

Support

All of the cuffs we tested came with user manuals and toll-free customer service numbers. Some have printed troubleshooting charts which offer solutions to common problems users encounter. Initial set-up of new equipment can be frustrating, and vendors know that offering new customers assistance up front will save both them and the customer the hassle of returning a product.