Review of the Withings BPM Core: a comprehensive assessment of heart health using just one device

The Core of the Withings BPM

9.3

DESIGN

9.0/10

EASE OF USE

9.0/10

APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION

10.0/10

MOTIVATION

9.0/10

PROS

  • Accurate readings for medical purposes
  • Keep an eye on all three of your heart’s problems with just one product.
  • LED screen with a matrix
  • The routine practice of getting blood pressure measurements is made more intriguing by the absence of tubes and cables.

CONS

  • Price

The term “Silent Killer” is used to refer to high blood pressure rather frequently. This is due to the fact that many people who have the illness do not realize they have a problem with themselves. In many cases, patients do not experience any symptoms until after the damage has already been done to their heart and arteries. It is estimated that approximately 30% of Americans are affected, resulting in up to 60,000 fatalities per year.

Because of the cumulative nature of the impacts of leading an unhealthy lifestyle over time, blood pressure monitoring is of utmost significance for the elderly population. In addition to getting older, other things like having a history of the disease in your family (genetics), not getting enough exercise, being overweight, experiencing a lot of stress, eating a diet high in salt, smoking, and not getting enough sleep are all things that can increase your likelihood of developing the disease.

The most important thing, though, is to recognize that you are impacted. After this point, you will be able to take steps to improve your health by removing some of the risk factors.

The good news is that monitoring your heart health from the convenience of your own home has never been simpler than it is now. The rise of modern technology has made possible a whole new generation of blood pressure monitors (BPMs). Typically, they will interact with an app on a smartphone, which serves as a centralized repository for readings via Bluetooth or WiFi.

In this field, Withings is a forerunner and an industry leader. A number of years ago, a French company introduced one of the very first smart BPMs on the market. They have raised the bar one further for monitoring one’s cardiovascular health with their most recent product.

Blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and valvular heart disease may all be monitored with just one device thanks to the BMP Core, which was introduced at CES 2019 and has this capability. This indicates that the device is intended to offer consumers a comprehensive evaluation of their heart health in the space of a couple of minutes. Withings says that cardiologists from two of the most prestigious hospitals in Paris helped make the most recent version of the BPM.

Over the past three weeks, I’ve made it a daily habit to wear one. Continue reading for my thoughts on the Withings BPM Core.

Design

The white tube that is attached to the cuff of the Withings BPM Core is the only thing that gives away the fact that this is not your typical BPM. It is where the brains and the battery are stored.

In terms of BPMs, the sleek looking 3-in-1 device is on the larger side, but this is a relatively minor drawback when one considers all of the things it is capable of doing. In addition, the gadget weighs in at around 430 grams, which is perhaps a little bit more than the typical BPM.

You do not need to bring any wires or other attachments with you because the gadget communicates with the smartphone app using Bluetooth or WiFi. Instead, you just need to have the app installed on your device. Because of this, it is rather portable, as it would not take up an excessive amount of space in a bag or suitcase if it were to be carried when traveling or commuting.

Having said that, the battery may be recharged using the micro-USB connector that is included in the package. On the other hand, you won’t have to use it very frequently because a full charge may keep the BMP Core operational for up to six months. Withings has established a reputation for producing products that have an exceptionally long battery life. In addition, I own the Body Cardio scale that the company makes. It can go for up to a whole year without needing to be recharged.

When completely unfurled, the BMP Core comes with a grey cloth cuff that has the dimensions of 560 x 165 x 450 mm. This cuff is included in the package. It fits arms with a circumference of between 9 and 17 inches, which should be enough for the vast majority of people (22 cm to 42 cm).

At one end, the tube is constructed out of PC plastic, and at the other end, it is constructed out of stainless steel (which contains the electrodes for taking ECG readings). Whenever you are adjusting the size of the cuff, you need to be sure that the metal end is pointing downward. The stethoscope, which is a spherical instrument, can be found on the side. When you are getting a reading, you should have it positioned on the side of your chest where the silicone membrane is, and the support for it is made of stainless steel.

The previous generation of devices, which only allowed you to access readings on the smartphone app, have been replaced with tubes that contain an LED matrix screen, which is a significant advancement over those devices. Tap the top of the device with your finger, and the display should come to life. It will first greet you and then direct you through the readings that you have selected.

As soon as the examination is through, the systolic and diastolic values, in addition to the electrocardiogram, will be displayed on the device itself. Because everything will be color coded in red, yellow, and green, you will be able to tell at a glance how well you have performed. The name of the individual who participated in the test will be provided after the findings as well. Up to eight people at a time are able to use BPM Core. On the device itself, you can directly link a measurement to a user.

This implies that you don’t need to launch the app unless you are interested in examining the findings in more detail, which is a very useful result of everything that has been discussed here. Between synchronizations, the gadget has the capacity to store a maximum of eight measurements. Both the Withings cloud and the Withings app come with limitless storage. Because of the Wi-Fi sync, you do not need to have your phone nearby, and the uploading process will take care of itself.

The capabilities of the BPM Core and its use

The information needed to calculate systolic and diastolic blood pressure is generated by a conventional BMP. When the heart is beating, the first number indicates the pressure in the blood vessels; the second number indicates the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. You want to have a systolic measurement that is lower than 120 mmHG and a diastolic value that is lower than 80 mmHG. The vast majority of BPMs also display information on your pulse. The Withings Core can perform all of these functions and more.

The electrocardiogram that is embedded right inside the device is the highlight function. In BPM, we have never encountered functionality like this one before.

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is a serious form of abnormal heart rhythm that, if left untreated, can result in heart failure and is a major risk factor for stroke. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to diagnose AFib. The ability to monitor an electrocardiogram is one of the selling points of the Apple Watch Series 4, but we’ve seen a number of other stand-alone wearables, such as the AliveCor, that have the same capability. However, this is a first for a device that measures blood pressure. The inclusion of this kind of functionality in a BPM, as opposed to a wristwatch, is actually the choice that seems to make the most sense.

In addition to this, the digital stethoscope that is included with BPM Core has the capability of providing early identification of valvular heart disease. Damage to one of the four heart valves is what makes this condition what it is, and surgery may be needed to fix it.

The positioning of the digital stethoscopes adjacent to the chest during the measurement makes it possible to record specific heart sound frequencies. These frequencies correlate to the opening and closing of the heart valves. The device can tell if there are any problems based on these sounds, and problems can be a sign of the most common valvular heart diseases.

Taking an exam is a simple process. Due to the fact that the cuff is slipping on the upper left arm, it is currently located close to the top of the arm over the bicep. The tube is pressed up against the skin of the user, and the Withings logo should be at the same level as the heart. Take care not to wrap the cuff in a manner that is too tight.

After you have turned on BPM Core, the cuff will direct your steps through the process. When I first began putting the device through its paces, it would only provide a single reading. After about a week of use, it changed to taking three readings in a row with a brief pause in between each one. This continued until it reached its maximum capacity. This is something that is actually advised by a lot of people, so I’m not sure whether Withings upgraded the software or whether I altered the settings somewhere else. The amount of time between each of the three readings can be changed with the help of the mobile app’s customizable features.

Following the completion of the third reading, the LED matrix screen will instruct you to press at least one finger from the other hand on the stainless steel sensors that are located on the tube for a period of twenty seconds. This results in the creation of a closed circuit during which the beats of the heart are monitored. On the screen of the device, you will actually be able to observe the curvature of the electrocardiogram. Additionally, this is the time when the digital stethoscope will perform its function.

The full examination can be completed in just a few minutes, after which the findings will be shown. It’s the same as if you were at the doctor’s office, only you’re at home.

Putting the results into context

The LED matrix panel performs a wonderful job of allowing you to get a rapid glimpse of your results. You are able to view the results of your blood pressure examination categorized as normal, elevated, high (stage 1), high (stage 2), and “hypertensive crisis,” which indicates that you need immediate medical attention. As was stated, those are given the colors green, yellow, and red according to their respective contexts. You can also view your electrocardiogram.

In terms of its precision, the BPM Core is a medical gadget that has been approved for use by influential health organizations. That should put your mind at ease.

If you want to view the findings from your digital stethoscope as well as additional information and trends on your other readings, the Health Mate app (or the website dashboard) is the place to go. Because this is the app that Withings uses for all of its other smart devices, like its smart scale and smartwatch, all of your important statistics will be shown in one place if you have one of its smart devices.

Your blood pressure reading is displayed on the app’s timeline, in addition to the ECG and information regarding your heart sounds. Simply tapping on any measure will reveal additional information about it. You have the ability to display weekly as well as monthly trends. You can also choose to have your results automatically synced with Apple Health or to share your results with your own doctor.

The majority of the time, my outcomes were marginally above average. It’s possible that I should start giving some thought to reducing the amount of salt I consume in my diet…

On the ECG screen, your heart rate is displayed, and it also indicates whether or not your sinus rhythm is normal. It also gives you the ability to play back a recording of your electrocardiogram (ECG).

I used a patient who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in order to test the functionality of the gadget, which is primarily geared toward identifying symptoms of the illness. As can be seen in the following illustration, BPM Core accurately recognized a problem.

In the final step, the section on heart sounds will tell you whether or not there are any indications of valvular heart disease (VHD). According to Withings, the BPM Core is able to diagnose all three of the most common forms of valvular heart disease (VHD): aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, and mistrial regurgitation.

A minimum of five readings are required before the first result can be displayed. You have the option to play back a recording that is twenty seconds long. In this particular scenario, rather than seeing the activity of your heart, you will actually hear it. The majority of the time, the stethoscope was able to gather readings of adequate quality to produce a result, but there were occasions when it displayed an “Inconclusive” result for me.

The final decision

When it comes to high-tech blood pressure monitors, the Withings BPM Core stands out as a product that is in a league of its own. The French company, which has been a pioneer in this field, has once again raised the bar for monitoring people’s heart health and given the other companies something to strive towards.

The device is user-friendly, offers a practical design, and is packed with information that is of great use. It enables more accurate medical monitoring of conditions such as high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, as well as improved therapy of valvular heart disease. Readings are displayed almost immediately on the built-in LCD matrix screen, and a smartphone app that goes along with the device provides significantly more information. Because the sync is done over Wi-Fi, you do not need to have your phone nearby.

It is impossible to exaggerate how convenient it is to have a device that serves three purposes at once. The boring procedure of getting blood pressure readings is actually made more intriguing as a result of this. A cardiovascular system checkup takes only a few minutes and can be performed in the comfort of your own home.

The BMP Core is, in my opinion, the best blood pressure monitor that money can buy right now. It clinches the title with relative ease. If you happen to call Europe home, you’re in luck because the product may now be purchased there. Those who reside in the United States will have to hold tight for a little while longer because Withings is now in the process of seeking FDA approval.

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