BPM Core in test – smart blood pressure monitor with ECG and stethoscope

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In a world increasingly driven by data, one’s own health can also be documented more and more extensively in figures. In smartphones, the gadgets, powered by all kinds of sensors, collect true data treasures.

BPM Core sees itself as an egg-laying woolly milk sow with regard to the measurement of one’s own cardiovascular health. What at first glance looks like an extravagant blood pressure monitor for the upper arm is not only just that, but also works as a 3-in-1 device as an ECG and digital stethoscope. In this way, not only systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate can be detected, but potentially also cardiac arrhythmias in the form of atrial fibrillation. BPM Core can also detect heart valve disease.

BPM Connect (pictured left) dispenses with the stethoscope and ECG and, according to the list, costs less than half of a BPM Core – the price tip for those who really only want to document their blood pressure.
BPM Connect (pictured left) dispenses with the stethoscope and ECG and, according to the list, costs less than half of a BPM Core – the price tip for those who really only want to document their blood pressure. (Image: Withings)

A doctor does not want and cannot replace the device. But especially those who suffer from pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, should measure and document blood pressure anyway – and are a candidate for possible consequential damage to these diseases that BPM Core could detect. This can give the impetus to seek further clarification at an early stage.

BPM Core in review: Valuable hardware, well thought-out app

Made of ABS plastic, stainless steel and fabric, the BPM Core weighs a proud 430 grams. The setup is done quickly – with a small “but”: The device can be used in its basic functions without the free HealthMate app, but the first commissioning requires the installation of the app and the creation of a Withings account.

BPM Core has three integrated electrodes: two electrodes are located directly in the cuff and one is located on the metal end of the tube attached to the cuff, in which the electronics of the device are housed.
BPM Core has three integrated electrodes: two electrodes are located directly in the cuff and one is located on the metal end of the tube attached to the cuff, in which the electronics of the device are housed. (Image: Withings)

The first generation of Withings blood pressure monitors only showed the readings in the smartphone app, a cable connection between smartphone and meter was a must. Today, everything works wirelessly – and thanks to a matrix of white LEDs, the values can also be read immediately, clearly and clearly directly on the device. There, the measurements can also be assigned to users individually by swiping movements. A BPM Core can be shared with the whole family.

Up to eight measurements are cached. There is no need to have a Wi-Fi or smartphone nearby to document the data without any gaps. The latter happens fully automatically in the background – and is arguably the biggest plus point of blood pressure monitors with app connectivity. Communication is via WLAN, but Bluetooth is also available as a fallback. From the app, the measurement data can then be exported as PDF, for example, in order to take it to the next doctor’s meeting.

The measured values are archived in the Withings cloud and can be retrieved both in the browser and via the app.
The measured values are archived in the Withings cloud and can be retrieved both in the browser and via the app. (Image: Withings)

In addition to the app, which also collects and merges readings from other Withings devices and serves as an interface to Apple’s health app, the battery deserves special praise. Despite several measurement operations per day, this did not run empty during the test phase of several weeks – this is in line with the manufacturer’s statement, which promises a battery life of up to 6 months. It is a pity, however, that the BPM-Core device has to be charged via an outdated micro-USB jack. Here, USB-C would have been the better choice.

Withings BPM Connect: The Cheap Alternative

Medical certification proves the measurement accuracy of the BPM Core. Such certification also has significantly cheaper devices – even from our own company.

BPM Core is the flagship for cardiovascular measurement in the four walls. But the many functions of the device also come at a high price. The small sister model called BPM Connect costs less than half, which is an exciting alternative for many chronically ill people. For 100 Euros you get the blood pressure measurement functions of the BPM Core, but then you have to do without the digital stethoscope and the ECG function. In particular, those who already own an Apple Watch from Series 4 with integrated ECG would purchase the corresponding functionality twice with the purchase of the BPM Core anyway.

Withings BPM Core – Intelligent blood pressure monitor with ECG function and digital stethoscope

€245.38

Withings BPM Connect – Intelligent Wi-Fi Blood Pressure Monitor

€99.99

BPM Core: The conclusion of the test

More luxury in terms of cardiovascular self-measurement is not possible at the moment, chronically ill people are making everyday life easier. At the latest, if the device is used in individual cases for the early detection of diseases,

Test
Product BPM Core
Manufacturer Withings
Price €249
Website withings.com
Per
  • fast and reliable measurement
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
  • good app
  • persistent battery
  • Wireless
Contra
  • Charging via Micro-USB
  • Bag not included
Requirements from iOS 10 and Android 6

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