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Withings, $179 house­holdtech­nol­ ★★★★

THERE are many rea­sons to cap­ture and record your blood pres­sure in the home. Per­haps doc­tors make you ner­vous. Per­haps you’re hyper­ten­sive. Per­haps your in­sur­ance com­pany is ex­ceed­ingly sus­pi­cious.

When shop­ping for med­i­cal equip­ment, how­ever, you might want to stop by the iPhone ac­ces­sories depart­ment. Withings, the com­pany be­hind the wi-fi Body Scale, has cre­ated a blood pres­sure mon­i­tor that help­fully plugs into your Ap­ple iPhone, iPod or iPad and mea­sures your vi­tal sta­tis­tics. It might sound odd— it cer­tainly looks odd— but there is a good rea­son be­hind this ap­par­ent ab­sur­dity.

Not only is this blood pres­sure mon­i­tor easy to use, but it also records your de­tails in an app you can take with you to the doc­tor.

This app will even plot your blood pres­sure and heart rate read­ings on a graph, so you can track your stress or good health. The Withings Smart Blood Pres­sure mon­i­tor con­sists of a sturdy cylin­dri­cal strap that wraps around the top of your arm, 2cm above your in­ner el­bow.

A large metal pipe con­tain­ing its me­chan­ics and four AAA bat­ter­ies sit out­side the arm band. Plug this gad­get into the bot­tom of an Ap­ple iOS de­vice and a prompt ap­pears ask­ing you to down­load a free Withings app. Once in­stalled, on­screen menus let you know how best to po­si­tion the mon­i­tor and, once in place, tak­ing a read­ing is as easy as tap­ping the Start icon.

Set the Withings gad­get to ‘‘ au­to­matic’’ and it will take three read­ings con­sec­u­tively and de­liver the av­er­age re­sult.

Fol­low­ing the read­ing, the Withings app shows all three mea­sure­ments on its screen with a self-ex­plana­tory green, orange or red light be­side the blood pres­sure read­ings.

The good, mild and not-so-good rat­ings are based on World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion clas­si­fi­ca­tions.


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