8 out of 10 blood pressure monitors for sale online not tested for accuracy
Around 8 in 10 of the best-selling blood pressure monitors online have not been validated for accuracy, a new analysis of devices available in ten countries indicates.
Hypertension guidelines – including the ISH global guidelines – recommend use of validated devices when measuring blood pressure. Non-validated BP monitors are more likely to be inaccurate, which could lead to mismanagement of BP and suboptimal outcomes for patients.
At present, regulations around the world do not always require validation according to strict scientific standards, but the authors of the analysis, published as a Research Letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said this should change.
The analysis was carried out by a team led by Dr Dean Picone of the University of Tasmania, Australia. Dr Picone is also Chair of the ISH New Investigator Committee.
The team looked at the top 100 best-selling devices on Amazon over one year from 2020 to 2021 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK and USA.
Overall they found 79% of upper-arm blood pressure monitors and 83% of wrist cuff monitors on sale were not validated – with some variation between countries. These findings also support existing data on the prevalence of non-validated devices.
Across all countries, the cost of non-validated upper-arm and wrist devices was always lower than validated devices – by an average of $35.2 USD and $23.7 USD respectively. Consumer ratings for validated and non-validated devices were similar.
Dr Picone said: “Consumers should be able to have confidence that if they purchase a blood pressure monitor online, it will be accurate, but our work shows that at present, consumers cannot have this confidence.
“We need stronger public health messaging to improve understanding of the need to measure BP using validated devices, as well as policies which require clinical validation of devices.”
Professor George Stergiou, one of the authors of the Research Letter who is also ISH Secretary, said: “Accurate measurement of blood pressure is vital to ensuring optimal management of hypertension, as inaccurate measurement can lead to under- or over-treatment of hypertension.
“This is why it is essential – as expressed in the ISH global guidelines – that all BP monitors are properly assessed and validated independently before being made available for sale, and regulations worldwide should change accordingly.”
Find out more
Dr Picone will present his research on the overwhelming number of non-validated home blood pressure devices at an upcoming virtual event organised by Hypertension Canada on May 8th at 4pm EST. You can register for free.
For listings of blood pressure devices that have been validated for accuracy by independent third parties, visit: