Harvard Heart Letter

Smartphone apps for blood pressure: A clever choice?

Smartphone apps can remind you to measure your blood pressure and take your medication, which can help you better control the condition.

Apps that track and chart your blood pressure may be useful. But for now, avoid those that use the phone as a measuring tool.

More than half of adults in the United States own a smartphone, and growing numbers of them use applications, or "apps," on their mobile devices to manage health conditions like high blood pressure. In fact, searching for "high blood pressure" or "hypertension" turns up more than 200 different apps for the two most popular platforms, Apple iTunes and Google Play. Many provide handy features that, in theory, could help you and your doctor manage your high blood pressure more effectively. But beware of the few that use the phone itself to measure blood pressure: there are scant data about their accuracy.

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