Dear Dr. Fritz,

Please call me Margot.

I am writing to you because I am confused these days. There are a lot of BP apps on the smartphone now that are touted to monitor your blood pressure. Are these BP apps reliable? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

Margot of Digos

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Dear Margot of Digos,

I am sorry to tell you that a popular smartphone app that estimates your blood pressure does not provide reliable readings. As a matter of fact, more than three-quarters of people with high blood pressure were falsely assured that their blood pressure is normal. This was according to a small study that compared the app results to readings taken with the traditional blood pressure cuff.

I don’t even trust smartwatches with BP readings. I had a friend whose husband used a smartwatch to monitor his blood pressure. However, when he compared the result to a traditional BP cuff, the difference was so great. He had 120/80 from his smartwatch. But, he had 160/100 in a traditional BP cuff. I tried it, too, to compare the difference. And I also had a false reading.

So, my take on this matter is – don’t use any of these BP apps on your smartphone to measure your blood pressure. Don’t you ever depend on these BP apps for your blood pressure readings. Or else, your life would be at stake here. And if you do have these apps on your smartphone now, you better delete them and free your storage, and have a safer journey in your blood pressure monitoring with the traditional BP cuffs.

Good luck!

Dr. Fritz

(Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She is the co-host of the digital page of Superbalita. For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/oSunstar-Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building 1, Juan Luna St., Davao City, or you e-mail them to dokfritz@yahoo.com. If you don’t wish your letter to be published, we regret that we cannot answer them. Thank you for your understanding.)