How to Use the Apple Watch's Blood Pressure Feature

Track your blood pressure in an easier way

Wutthichai Luemuang/EyeEm

The Apple Watch Series 4 has many health benefits, the most of any Apple Watch, but out of the box it can't yet take a person’s blood pressure. This is also true of Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple Watch models. Despite that, the Apple Watch can still be used in conjunction with other apps and devices to keep your blood pressure measurement on your wrist.

The health-related features the Apple Watch supports includes fall detection, heart rate monitoring, AFib detections with ECG, GPS, and general activity monitoring.

What You Need to Monitor Blood Pressure With Apple Watch

To take your blood pressure in the comfort of your own home, you'll need a medical device sold by someone besides Apple.

There are no Apple Watch apps capable of enabling blood pressure monitoring. All Apple Watch apps need blood pressure readings entered manually or automatically from a separate device to function.

When looking for a reputable blood pressure device, look for these to get the most out of the experience:

  • FDA clearance: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in charge of certifying medical devices. A device checked out the by the FDA is more likely to perform accurate health readings.
  • Apple Heath app compatibility: A blood pressure device compatible with Apple's Heath app will help provide flexibility with your data in the future.

Devices for Taking Your Blood Pressure

While there are plenty of devices you can buy that can take your blood pressure, there are a few popular options for getting the reading on your iPhone or Apple Watch:

  • Omron 10 Series: The Omron 10 Series blood pressure machine looks like a more traditional one from a doctor's office. It connects to an iPhone via Bluetooth and can then be used on an Apple Watch through the Apple Heath app, which blood pressure Apple Watch apps can use. The Omron 10 Series runs about $50.
  • QardioArm: The QardioArm is a more expensive wireless device which needs an iPhone or Apple Watch to display the blood pressure readings. QardiaArm also connects over Bluetooth, but runs around $100.

How to Read Blood Pressure Using an Apple Watch

If you have a QardioArm wireless blood pressure device, here's how you can take a reading directly from your Apple Watch.

  1. Download the Qardio iOS app from the App Store and register for an account.

  2. Fit the QardioArm around your arm.

  3. With the Qardio app open, touch your phone to the QardioArm. Accept the pairing request when it pops up.

  4. The Qardio watch app should have installed on your watch when you installed it on your iPhone. Check if it's there by pressing the Digital Crown and looking through the watch apps.

  5. Open the Qardio watch app, then tap Start to initiate a blood pressure reading.

    Apple
  6. That's it!

Apple Watch Blood Pressure Apps

Once you have the means to measure your blood pressure through a third-party device like the QardioArm, there are a few different apps you can use to keep track of the information from your Apple Watch if you'd like.

The device you buy will likely come with an app, but if your device syncs with Apple Health, you can easily try other Apple Watch apps for monitoring and displaying your blood pressure information. Here are some of the better watch apps.