QardioArm is a blood pressure monitor compatible with iOS, and driven by Qardio app, available on the app store for free.
Preliminary operations and app accessibility considerations
Just download and install the qardio app and create a user profile, setting it up fitting your needs, including importing and exporting data to Apple Health system.
You can have multiple devices paired to the same machine, even if of course they cannot be used simultaneously; you can set family and friends with their e-mail address and get notified when they measure their blood pressure, or set some reminders to have your phone notifying you must take your measurement. On the profile, also doctor's e-mail can be set, so that measurement history can be sent to him with no problems.
If setting Health app up, you can import already existing data from Apple health to qardio and viceversa, so that you can test app's accessibility.
QardioArm comes with a very nice package, it's cylinder-shaped, seeming a coffee box, impressively comfortable to place standing on a shelf without taking so much space.
Taking the upper part of the box off, the real blood pressure monitor is here: the band to wear on arm to measure pressure, rolls itself all around the device, seeming as a protection cover, magnetically attached.
Inside the bracelet, you can find a small paper, where you can read preliminary instructions, they are multi-lingual and can be read with KNFB reader or similar OCR apps quite easily; the entire user manual stands inside the box, to cover the blood pressure machine.
After having unrolled the arm band, it will stay attached to the plastic machine; the device has one only button, which is needed to change batteries (4 AAA batteries). Pressure monitor activates when pulling one of the 2 parts of the unrolled band, which is held by a iron ring needed to enlarge or tighten the band on our arm.
When the band is pulled out and there is enough space to insert the arm in, the pressure monitor activates. It's time to wear it; Qardio app gives detailed instructions on what to do, it's strongly advised to open bluetooth first, then the qardio app and then start playing around with the machine.
Pairing is fun: when qardio app says: pair your device. Touch for some seconds the smart phone and the qardio arm, the message could not be clear, but it's that simple: take your iPhone, while wearing the pressure monitor, and simply touch the machine with iPhone's screen, a message on the iPhone will appear to ask for pairing, press on OK. It seemed like iPhone and the pressure monitor were bumping each other.
Remember: when wearing the monitor, the battery button must stay towards your shoulder, while qardio logo must face your hand. The machine must be positioned at about one centimeter from the joint of your elbow, and be worn not so tight, qardio logo, which must have the direction towards hand, may be detected because of the word qardio written on the plastic, Braille users should not have many problem to detect it, with finger or nail.
After having worn the device and paired it correctly with the phone, just press start, and the band will start to inflate.
After inflating, you will hear no beeps for heart beats, this is a disadvantage I found on this accessory, but just warned the developers to find a solution for this.
Be patient, and when it starts to deflate, just flick around the iPhone's screen to get your sys, dia, and bpm's measures.
Suggestion: if the values are too high, it may be because the machine has been worn too tight, or upside down.
A suggestion I gave to devs was to implement automatic speech for voiceover users into the app: "your pressure is, so, so, and so", as the app requires iOS 7 or higher it may not be difficult to implement this feature using internal speech instead of voiceover speech, or set it to use one or the other.
I was impressed to notice how easy it is now to have my pressure monitored and data sent to the doctor in semi-automatic way. Just click export history, press Send when fields are compiled correctly, and go.
You can also add notes to the current measures, and set places from app settings, which shows the map after measurement so that you can point the location to verify if you suffer of high or low pressure going here or there. Map is a bit difficult to use, even if it implements apple map's API, but you can just write a note: at the mountain this, at the sea that, at home something else.
I think it's worth it for about 93$ on amazon