By J. Peterson (Minnesota)
This review is from: Omron BP791IT 10+ Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, Black/white, Large
I've owned/used several other blood pressure meters over the years, including ones from Omron and LifeSource. The older units look pretty basic compared to this latest Omron, which provides significant more computerized functionality than the older units. However, this does come at the cost of greater complexity.
Good things about the new Omron:
* "TruRead" mode, which automatically takes 3 sequential readings and averages them. I always did this manually with my older units anyway because the readings would differ slightly from time to time, but this one does it with one touch of a button, and then computes the average for you.
* Cuff is very nice: broad and stiff, which I find much easier to apply.
* Automatically determines if you have applied the cuff correctly.
* Like a dozen other things I own these days, this unit can connect to my computer via USB, which fortunately is by the common "mini" USB connector and not the less common "micro" USB connector, which means that you can use the same USB cord as you use for many other devices.
Things that may or may not be good:
* It is set up to handle 2 regular users, via an A/B slide switch. This really is only useful if you have 2 people who both use the same unit regularly, and they both want to have the unit keep track of averages and/or download readings to a computer. Of course, you have to remember to set the switch in the right position for you so you don't get mixed up, which would destroy the value of any history.
* You can connect it to your Windows computer as mentioned above, supposedly to connect to Microsoft Health Vault (which I did not try - who wants to upload their personal information to something run by Microsoft?) or to Omron's Health Management software package which you can download and run privately on your own Windows PC. I did try out the latter, which does allow you to upload stored readings to your computer for graphing of historical trends. I find this only marginally useful if at all - I do keep my own log in Excel, where I can also add notes, add other data, and analyze and graph it myself - all without having to plug it in to my computer. I did experience some difficulty uploading, where it was not obvious what to do to start the upload after connecting the unit to my computer.
Things that are not so good:
* It has various computational abilities such as a memory, ability to keep history for morning & evening readings, etc. I suppose this could provide some value to those who are tech-oriented and would value the additional information, but I find that it just adds unnecessary complexity to the device with little value to me. I found it difficult to figure out how to make this work, even after (re)reading the instruction manual several times. Anything that requires you to keep the instruction manual handy flunks my usability test, and likely will not be used by 98% of most users. Factoid to provide contrast: My old LifeSource unit had just 1 button, my old Omron had just 2, while this unit has 7 buttons.
Overall, I like the unit because it is a useful improvement over my older devices, particularly due to the useful TruRead feature. It does provide PC connectivity and more computational features that older units too, but not everyone will find those capabilities useful, and they do increase the complexity of the unit.
>> Click here for more detail and customer reviews