Garmin's new Index BPM is the blood pressure monitor I've been waiting for

Garmin’s new Index BPM is the blood pressure monitor I’ve been waiting for


  • Easy button operation
  • Reliable synchronization with Garmin Connect
  • Powered by removable batteries
  • Solid build quality
  • Exportable PDF reports

The inconvenients

  • A little expensive
  • Bulky device
  • Cuff fit may not be perfect for everyone

Regular readers know that I usually have a Garmin GPS sports watch on my wrist, and personally, the Garmin Connect ecosystem and smartphone app are favorites for tracking health, wellness, and fitness data. coaching. The only thing missing from the models I’ve used all these years is blood pressure monitoring, one of the most important health metrics to track and one that regular exercise and a healthy diet can impact. measurable.

That’s why I was thrilled when Garmin announced the Index BPM smart blood pressure monitor two months ago. So much so that I ordered mine for his $149 registration price as soon as I received the press release. The BPM Index is also an FDA-approved medical device that you can purchase with your FSA or HSA funds.





Monochrome OLED (128 pixel x 64 pixel)




Up to 100+ measurements between synchronizations


Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Battery life

Up to nine months (user replaceable batteries)

a bit about me

Although I never presented with heart problems or feelings that would make me suspect a health problem, when I went for my physical exam last year, the doctor said that I had high blood pressure and prescribed me losartan to take once a day. Although I have no family history of high blood pressure, I am about 20 pounds overweight and stressed enough to make such a condition normal at age 53.

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When I was in high school, I failed a Department of Defense medical exam, and since then I have had white coat syndrome, which means my blood pressure at the doctor’s office is usually high at beyond what it actually is in a non-clinical setting. So taking my own blood pressure at home with a reliable monitor is important to give me realistic readings.

How is the fit?

The Garmin Index BPM is a bit larger than expected with a monitor size of 58x145x47mm and 320 grams. The main unit contains four AAA batteries which are rated to provide up to nine months of battery life, although the rating will vary depending on how often you use the player, of course. In terms of fit, the device sits inside my arm without too much discomfort, but some people may find it cumbersome to use. For example, velcro is used to adjust cuff length and can be a little difficult for those with smaller arms where the extra cuff length may not attach to the vertical velcro material which is a few inches apart.

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The good thing is that there are no pipes or wires coming out of the device, which makes it less complicated to install and store. Garmin says the soft cuff is designed to fit arm sizes from 9 to 16.5 inches in circumference, and I personally had no problem adjusting to it.

Garmin Index BPM Strap

Garmin Index BPM is powered by four AAA batteries.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Three physical buttons sit to the right of the monochrome OLED screen. The buttons are black, so it’s not easy to make out what’s printed on them unless you’re in a well-lit area and/or have great eyesight. Since high blood pressure is often associated with age, it would have been nice to see a white label on those pimples instead.

Also: Why My Garmin Enduro 2’s LED Flashlight Is My Favorite Feature

To operate the device, the top button is used to select the user profile (up to 16 people can share the cuff), a long press of the middle button initiates the blood pressure reading, which lasts for three playback sessions with a minute between each, and the bottom button toggles between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi syncing.

Garmin Connect integration

The blood pressure monitor is easy to use and works consistently, but the main reason I ordered one for myself is the integration with Garmin Connect. For example, you can customize the My Day view in the smartphone app and display your last blood pressure measurement as soon as you launch Garmin Connect.

Test: Garmin Index S2 connected scale

You can also open the blood pressure view to see your latest readings by day, week, month, or even year. The daily view presents your blood pressure on a systolic and diastolic plot with zones for normal, high, stage 1 and stage 2. Additionally, you can create a PDF report for a 4 week period which you can then share with your provider health.

Garmin Index BPM strapped to my arm

The device is mounted on the left arm for data entry.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Besides my white coat syndrome, I often find myself behind when it comes to recording my blood pressure levels. That’s why I was thrilled to see that I could set up reminders in Garmin Connect. Now I have morning and evening reminders that help me follow a regular routine for measurements.

How does it compare to a traditional monitor?

I compared the Garmin BPM index with a Withings BPM Connect which I also own. While the Withings measured the same (lower) diastolic number most of the time, it showed 10-15 mmHG more for the systolic level most of the time. I then compared the Garmin BPM index to a manual armband and the reading was within 2-4 mmHG of each other, so I’m pretty confident in the Garmin reading. Trends are also very important to follow, so I was able to take the stats from the Garmin Connect program to compare them with the reports from my traditional armband.

At the end of the line

Data shows that nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension, meaning a systolic blood pressure above 130 mmHg or a diastolic pressure above 80 mmHg. Thus, to understand your state of health and well-being, it is essential to measure and monitor your blood pressure. I am very happy to see Garmin now integrating this metric into Garmin Connect and with this decision I am confident that this is the primary platform for me.

More: Five Best Blood Pressure Monitors

With my Garmin watches, S2 index scale, and BPM Index monitor, I now have a full and complete picture of my health. The blood pressure monitor is easy to use, reliable and integrates perfectly with Garmin Connect.

Alternatives to consider

If you don’t use other Garmin devices, you may be looking for other cuff options and there are several alternatives to traditional blood pressure cuffs.

#Garmins #Index #BPM #blood #pressure #monitor #Ive #waiting

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