Omron Hem 780

Omron blood pressure Monitor HEM-780 manual

Although the below article detailing the most accurate models (skip there now) is still relevant, last year I bought three different blood pressure monitors on the theory that the more kinds of measurement device I had, the better I could check the accuracy. Here are some quick reviews you may find interesting.

First, I got a Veridian wrist model and another Veridian, an arm cuff model. The arm cuff model ended up breaking in the first year, which was a big disappointment.

As to the wrist model, the Veridian SmartHeart Digital Blood Pressure Monitor, which I got at WalMart for a very reasonable price, at first I wasn't all that confident in its accuracy, but my confidence has increased over time. There were times it showed very high readings that correlated with other monitors, but other times it was the ONLY one with a high or low reading. I tried to make sure the cuff was level with my heart and double-checked, but found it overall to be more erratic. After owning it for over a year, I put this down to the problem of all wrist monitors: being sensitive to its level and position as well as the tightness of the cuff (should be neither too tight nor too loose). When I brought it in to my doctors for testing (something I did over multiple visits), I have to admit it did consistently match their readings, however.

I also decided to make a big switch and buy a manual sphygmomanometer - one of those doodads you have to pump up yourself, with a stethoscope and everything. It's my favorite one. If you're not afraid of learning to use an old-fashioned cuff, I highly recommend it.

The thin, flexible cuff of the manual blood pressure monitor is great for a wide variety of arm sizes. I have a short, chubby arm and it works just fine. And once you get the hang of how to use it - and it takes some trial and error - you can tell if it's working or not just fine. No more wondering about accuracy - you know if it's accurate, because you can check if it's calibrated properly each time.

Tips for Using a Manual Sphygmomanometer, From One Amateur to Another:

The lessons I learned in using this machine are:

  1. DON'T close the valve on the inflation bulb tightly. It needs to be closed when you start inflating, but not TIGHTLY closed. Keeping it loosely closed means you can quickly start deflating at the right number.
  2. After loosening the valve when it's time to deflate, you may need to hold it in place or nudge it slightly looser as it's deflating, or it might get "stuck" and stop deflating.
  3. It may take some dexterity to figure out how to clip on the dial. They recommend you clip it to a book, but I use a thin piece of cardboard because those clips are tight.

These were minor issues, easily solved. I love this machine's accuracy.

Overall, as somebody who is without medical insurance, I am thrilled I have this at home - and it's very reasonable in price. The model of manual sphygmomanometer I chose was the Omron 104MAJ Home Blood Pressure Kit (that takes you to

Original Article - Most Accurate Digital Sphygmomanometer

Many doctors are now recommending that their patients with high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure at home using an easy-to-use and accurate digital blood pressure machine. As I learned from my own search for a machine to track my hypertension, the challenge in finding the best home blood pressure monitor is not finding the cheapest. Blood pressure monitors have become very affordable. The challenge is:

  1. Finding a machine that approaches the accuracy of the equipment at the doctor's office. What I learned was that home machines are far more accurate than they were when I was a kid.
  2. Figuring out which type of blood pressure monitor to get-finger, wrist cuff, or arm cuff.

My main priority was to find the blood pressure machine that was the most accurate. Through trial and error, I was surprised to learn that while brand was an indicator of quality, it was not the whole picture. Though Omron seems to emerge as the dominant brand in quality these days, the accuracy of one brand over another can only be determined on a machine to machine basis. The quality of blood pressure monitors depends on the electronics, and each machine is truly different from the next on the shelf.

Three Types of Blood Pressure Monitor

When you choose a blood pressure machine, you'll be choosing from three different types:

  • upper arm blood pressure monitor
  • wrist blood pressure monitor
  • finger blood pressure monitor

Generally, upper arm monitors are the most accurate blood pressure machine of the three types, and finger monitors the least accurate. Upper arm monitors do tend to cost more, but I've found the difference in cost to be not a big deal: I'm on a budget, but I chose an upper arm monitor. We're talking less than a $100 for most blood pressure monitors.

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