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  • Writer's pictureDmitri Konash

Does blood pressure app work?

Updated: May 21, 2023

Blood pressure apps DO work and we review 3 of them

Does blood pressure app work? Scientific research shows that mobile apps help to lower blood pressure
Mobile apps are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure. Image by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Can you reduce blood pressure by 20 units by changing your lifestyle? The study published in October 2021 in The Journal of the American Medical Association has scientifically proven that this IS in fact possible. The study followed over 28000 participants in different hypertension categories. Those with stage 2 high blood pressure (systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg) were able to bring their systolic readings down by 20 units [1].


How did they manage to do it? The participants of the Hello Heart program were provided with a standard blood pressure monitor (Bluetooth enabled) that automatically sent readings directly to the Hello Heart app. The app monitors blood pressure trends and automatically gives users strategies to lower their blood pressure with things like diet and exercise.


The statement from the study author Alexis Beatty, a cardiologist and associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, says, “This is the first peer-reviewed, published study reporting the long-term experience of a digital health application for blood pressure management.”


IMPORTANT.

- Most of the study participants retained the benefits of lower blood pressure for the whole duration of the study which lasted 3 years.

- Those participants who were more engaged with the program achieved better progress and had lower blood pressure readings.


This example provides hard proof for the following three items related to high blood pressure:

- One can definitely lower their blood pressure through lifestyle changes
- You need an easy way to track blood pressure to stay engaged and motivated
- Your blood pressure app should give you clear directions for specific activities


Let’s look now at the three mobile apps which will help you to lower blood pressure with no meds.


1. Hello Heart app, https://www.helloheart.com/

This is the mobile app used in the research described above. As of January 2022 Hello Heart is only available through employer health programs in the United States — it’s offered by some companies as part of their health benefits. If you live in the US you may consider checking with your employer if they offer this program. Otherwise you may consider the options below.


In summary. Solid scientifically proven app which helps to lower blood pressure with lifestyle management. As of January 2022 available only through employer health programs in the United States.


2. SmartBP app, https://www.smartbp.app/


SmartBP is one of the most popular blood pressure apps and it is available on both Apple AppStore and Google Play. SmartBP is a blood pressure management app that allows you to record, track, and share your blood pressure information using your mobile device.


You can enter the data from the blood pressure monitor manually or pull the data from Apple Health or Google Fit if you monitor talks to them via Bluetooth. You can add tags to blood pressure readings and analyse trends and track progress.


The app also allows you to generate reports that can be shared with your doctor or health provider via email or different apps.


In summary: Smart BP is a solid product with good ratings for those who are primarily interested in tracking blood pressure and who want to share data with their doctor.


What if you also want your blood pressure tracker app to include also guidance on how to lower blood pressure with no meds? This brings us to the BreathNow blood pressure app.



BreathNow has a 3in1 functionality: blood pressure tracker, heart rate and stress monitor and a video guide to lower blood pressure with breathing exercises and other calming techniques. This combination makes BreathNow a unique blood pressure app.


As you could guess from the app name the key feature of the app is a set of breathing exercises which have been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure. Among others it includes 4-7-8 breathing exercise, box breathing and IMST breathing exercise. Other calming techniques include acupressure, meditation and calming music, including the binaural beats.


Exercises to lower blood pressure include a set of moderate aerobic exercises which can be done at home without additional equipment. It encourages users to walk more and shows how walking and other physical exercises, i.e. Nitric Oxide Dump, help to lower blood pressure.


Blood pressure app for Apple Watch BreathNow

In summary: BreathNow, the blood pressure app, is a powerful tool which allows users to lower their blood pressure short term and train their cardio system for the long term effect.


IMPORTANT: Some apps advertised as being able to take blood pressure readings. As of May 2023 the technology which allows mobile apps to take blood pressure readings without external blood pressure monitors does not exist. To simplify the process of transfer readings from your blood pressure monitor to a blood pressure tracker choose a Bluetooth enabled monitor. Then your data will be automatically transferred from your blood pressure monitor to your blood pressure tracker.


UPDATE February 2022: BreathNow includes now a stress monitor and breathing exercises for Apple Watch. Which makes it one of the most advanced blood pressure apps for Apple Watch.


Summary


Strong scientific evidence proves that high blood pressure can be reduced with non-medication activities. Mobile apps are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure. Always talk to your doctor or health provider about the best way to integrate these apps into your overall treatment plan.


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