Self-measurement of blood pressure using an automated home blood pressure monitoring (AHBPM) is increasingly used in hypertension management. Internet commerce increases dramatically each year. This study looked to identify the availability of validity of AHBPM and the correct cuff size to go with the AHBPM.
Using the search engine ‘Google.com’, the author identified 124 consecutive unique sites offering at least one AHBPM. Validated AHBPM were those devices that had published studies showing that they had passed a recognized validation protocol. Each site was evaluated for all forms of sphygmomanometer, number of AHBPM, manual blood pressure devices, all cuff sizes available, additional cost of large adult cuff, number of validated AHBPM offered, and whether the site mentioned device validation. Of the 124 sites, 109 (81%) offered arm AHBPM and 66 (53%) offered one or more (range, 1–11) validated AHBPM. Only six of the 66 (9%) offering a validated AHBPM mentioned that fact; 58 of the 109 (53%) sites offering arm AHBPM offered more than one size of cuff; and 46 of the 58 (80%) charged extra for a large adult cuff (average $23.75, range, $4.80–98).
Validated AHBPMs are readily available on the Internet. Currently, these sites do little to aid the consumer in purchasing a validated AHBPM. Large adult cuffs, commonly needed by hypertensive patients, are not always available for purchase. Charging extra for large adult cuffs is a potential hindrance to consumers purchasing the correct cuff size for accurate blood pressure measurement and should be eliminated.
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
Correspondence and requests for reprints to John W. Graves, MD, FACP, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA
Tel: +1 507 284 8712; fax: +1 507 284 1161;
Received 20 August 2004 Revised 8 October 2004 Accepted 12 October 2004