Garmin now has an FDA-cleared (not to be confused with FDA approved) smart blood pressure monitor to accompany its other health-focused wearables. The Garmin Index BPM Smart Blood Pressure Monitor allows users to measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure and syncs that data with the Garmin Connect mobile app that also syncs with Garmin devices like smartwatches, chest straps, smart scales, and bike computers.
“When using the Index BPM as part of the larger Garmin ecosystem, all of your health and fitness data can be viewed right in Garmin Connect, helping to give you a more complete look at your overall health in one app,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales.
The Garmin Index BPM syncs collected data within the Garmin Connect mobile app
Users can set reminders to take their blood pressure, with readings available to view in 7-day, 4-week, and 1-year reports, which can be exported as a PDF if you need to share them with a health care provider. Up to 16 users can use the Index to track their individual readings and sync 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, with a potential battery life of up to 9 months.
The size of the device is certainly something, resembling an InReach satellite phone despite Garmin’s ‘compact’ description. Unfortunately, we’ll have to live with that bulk for a while since it’s not yet clear how suitable smartwatches are for blood pressure monitoring.
The Index BPM is FDA-cleared, meaning that the manufacturer can demonstrate that the product is “substantially equivalent” to a similar and legal market device that has either FDA clearance or the gold standard FDA approval. Contextually, rival health company Withings announced its first blood pressure monitor capable of connecting to an iPhone back in 2011. Several other models of smart blood pressure monitors have since been released by Withings, such as the similarly FDA-cleared Withings BPM Connect. So, while this is Garmin’s first attempt at a dedicated smart BPM device, it’s not blazing any trails.
The Garmin Index BPM Smart Blood Pressure Monitor retails for $149.99 and is available to buy now direct from the Garmin website or via third-party retailers.