I recently picked up Omron Evolv Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. I have wanted an electronic Blood Pressure Monitor (BPM) for a while now so I decided to try out the Omron Evolv. The most important feature of any BPM is that it accurately measure your blood pressure and I had read that the other Omron models have tested accurately so I am hoping the Omron measures up.
The Omron Evolv retails for $99, but you can currently buy it on Amazon for $82.
What I was looking for..
I choose the Omron Evolv because it seems to have the features I was looking for…
- accurate blood pressure readings
- single piece upper arm design
- smartphone compatible – bluetooth connectivity
- iPhone and Android Apps
- HealthKit compatible with iPhone
- Can be used with multiple users (for my wife and me).
I am hoping a single piece BPM will be simpler to use and maintain. The cuff and electronics are integrated into a single unit. I definitely wanted a BPM that would work with my smartphone so I could record and track our reading without needing to keep a paper notebook or worse, re-enter the information into an app on my computer or smartphone. Omron has Omron Connect app for both iOS and Android in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store respectively. Both my wife and I use iPhones and I want each of us to be able to install the app and track our blood pressures separately.
Unboxing the Evolv
Since I had to open the package anyway I decided to do an unboxing video. You can check out the video below. The unit comes packed in a cardboard can, which was a bit difficult to open. Inside the can there are the usual printed instructions, the Evovl BPM, and 4 AAA batteries. No storage case is included, but they sell one as an optional accessory for $10. I considered using the can as to store the Evolv but it is difficult to put the unit in and out and the top of the can doesn’t go back on easily. I think its an air pressure issue.
Once out of the box, I installed the 4 AAA batteries and powered on the unit. When you hit the start button the cuff begins to restrict even though I wasn’t wearing it.
I installed the Omron Connect app on my iPhone 7 Plus and created an online account inside the app. Once you create your account, Omron sends you an email to verify your account and and then you can log in from inside the app.
Once I had the app installed I was able to put the cuff on my upper left arm and pair the Evolv with the app. You add your Evolv to the app as a device so you can sync your readings to your phone. Once your readings are synced they are erased from the Evolv. The Evolv will sync all the stored readings since the last sync.
With my iPhone, when you set up the app, you have the choice to sync your readings with Apple’s Health app. Apple Health is a central location where are your health related data can be stored and analyzed. Both my wife and I are just starting to use Apple Health. I have been syncing data from my Heart Rate Monitor, Smart scale, and bicycle trainer for some time, but have yet to figure out how to effectively use Health. My wife has started using it to record steps and walking results.
Setting Up For a Second Person..
After setting up and using the Evolv for myself, I wanted to set it up for my wife too. I installed the app on her iPhone and setup here account. This part didn’t go to smoothly. I couldn’t get the Evolv to pair. I tried turning off Bluetooth, deleting the device from my the Connect app on my iPhone but it simply wouldn’t pair with her phone. I decided to try and use her account on my Android phone just to see if it would pair. On the Android phone I also got an error message saying that a passkey or password was incorrect.
Calling Omron Support
I checked the support FAQ on omron.com to confirm the Evolv could be used with multiple users. And while it is possible, the FAQ did not include details on how to do this. I followed up with a call to support which claimed it was possible. Support was courteous and I was connected immediately. The Customer Support Representative told me pretty much to do what I was already doing. She created a support ticket and told me to call back if I couldn’t get it to connect.
After the call I continued pairing it again with my iPhone deleting it and trying to pair it with my android phone. After about 15 minutes or so I was able to get it to connect to my Android phone. I could also sync readings with both my iPhone 7 Plus and then the Android phone. When working properly, the app will tell you the Evolv has previously used with another phone and to make sure you have synced any stored data with the other user. Later that day I was able to get the Evolv to pair with my wife’s iPhone. She recently found out she has borderline high blood pressure and is using the Evolv to record her blood pressure twice a day. The next step is for me to be able to record my blood pressure daily as well and make sure we both can reliably sync our readings with our individual phones without pairing or syncing issues.
Accurate BP Readings
When I started the article, I said that the most important feature for a BPM is accuracy. Going forward, I am going to need to determine how accurate the readings from the Evolv are. To do this, I’ll need to compare the readings from the Evolv with the results from the equipment used at the doctor’s office. Both my wife and I will take the unit with us for future doctor’s visits and compare the results the nurse records to those from the Evolv.
I’ll continue to update this article with new information as we use the Evolv and appropriate edits as needed. So far I like the Evolv, but my opinion will change depending on the ease of use for two people sharing it and the overall accuracy.
What about you? Do you own the Evolv or are you thinking about getting one? Leave a reply below and share…