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Blood Pressure Equipment: For Measurement and Monitoring

Medically reviewed by Mia Dacumos, MD · Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N. · Updated Aug 23, 2022

Blood Pressure Equipment: For Measurement and Monitoring

Have you ever seen different types of blood pressure equipment? There are manual and automatic devices widely used at home and in medical settings. How can we be sure that these are trustworthy and can give us an accurate measurement of our blood pressure? How are we supposed to use these devices to arrive at the best result? 

Types and Uses of Different Blood Pressure Equipment

Different blood pressure measuring devices are available on the market. It is because most of them are portable, digital, and automatic. Therefore, they are easy to use. Let us discuss more devices, their usage, and their accuracy.

blood pressure equipment

For clinic and hospital measurements

Mercury sphygmomanometer

This piece of blood pressure equipment has an inflatable cuff and bulb, tubing, and the gauge where the mercury is. It is placed on a flat surface and with its gauge in an upright position. The cuff is wrapped around the arm while the measurement starts by squeezing the inflating bulb. 

This device uses mercury to measure blood pressure. In the past, this device was the gold standard for measuring blood pressure. Now, mercury sphygmomanometers have been phased out to replace dangerous mercury-containing devices with safer alternatives.

Aneroid sphygmomanometer

It is a little similar to the mercury sphygmomanometer with the difference in gauge. Aneroid sphygmomanometers do not use mercury anymore but a dial gauge instead. As the mercury sphygmomanometer is banned, this aneroid has become its replacement.

Some studies have found that there are varying error rates that differ in clinical settings. However, it is still reliable and has the same function as its predecessor.

Blood Pressure Equipment: For self-monitoring at home

Since the use of mercury sphygmomanometers has been discouraged due to the danger of mercury, electronic devices served as the replacement. Along with this, people at home can use this as it is easy to use and portable.

Some of the monitoring devices that are recommended for home use are:

Wrist monitors

Using this digital monitoring device, as per the doctor’s advice, can give an accurate result. The position of this device on the wrist is sensitive because of the hydrostatic effect.

In some cases, blood pressure is undetected when worn around the biceps. 

The wrist monitoring device went under evaluation with older people, ages 75 to 80. The results have no difference, may it be on arms or wrist.

blood pressure equipment

Digital automatic blood pressure monitor

This type of device varies, but it commonly works with an inflatable cuff and a monitor. It has two cuff variations, a wristband or armband. After wrapping the cuff around your arm, slightly bend upwards, there is a button to push for the cuff to inflate. The reading is automatic.

The advantage of using digital and automatic blood pressure equipment at home is: you can have more than one analysis at your own time. You can also bring it anywhere because of its portability and for convenience, it is easy to use. You only need to mind the proper ways to use it to have the most accurate result.

For long-term monitoring

Korea developed a wearable device that can monitor your blood pressure all day long during and after activities. This device has a sensor placed on the chest connected to the cuff wrapped on the finger. They came up with this idea thinking that it could be more portable and comfortable to use instead of the large cuff by other automated devices.

After trials and evaluations, this modest and wearable sensor for long-term blood pressure monitoring is confirmed to be accurate for measuring blood pressure.

As of this time, this system is not the standard in the Philippines healthcare setting. Instead, conventional blood pressure monitoring devices like the aneroid sphygmomanometer or digital blood pressure monitor are used to check blood pressure throughout the day.

For patients with long-term or resistant hypertension

Minnesota developed a device that can regulate blood pressure. It is called the Rheos system, and its function is called Rheos therapy. It is a device implanted to signal the nervous system for high blood pressure.

As a response, the brain will counteract. The brain will signal the heart to dilate the blood vessels and reduce the heart rate, which will result in lowering the blood pressure.

This device runs through a generator implanted under the collarbone and connected with two sinus leads implanted to the neck part. After the trials and evaluation, the Rheos system as a blood pressure equipment is accurate and effective. It also prevents further complications, such as diabetes, kidney failure, heart diseases, and death.

Moreover, Rheos therapy is an option for people with uncontrollable hypertension through medications or resistant hypertension. However, the Rheos system is not typically used in patients with well-controlled hypertension.

Key Takeaways

In the past 50 years, different types of blood pressure equipment have been prevalent in markets. From manual use of devices to automated and digital that is easy to use. Some are available to use at home because it is automatic and portable. Aside from that, there is a device development that can manage hypertension.

However, consultations and questions to doctors are still much more recommended than measuring blood pressure by yourself.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mia Dacumos, MD

Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N. · Updated Aug 23, 2022

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