October 19, 2020

Omron EVOLV in the test – stylish blood pressure monitor with app connectivity

As you get older, taking care of your health is an important part of life. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, loss of vision etc. It can start small with a mild headache or other symptoms that many do not even perceive as such. Since you cannot and do not always want to go to the doctor for every little thing, you can comfortably monitor your own health from home with a blood pressure monitor and visit the doctor in the event of anomalies and thus take good precautions to prevent the worst.

This is where the Omron EVOLV comes in. The Japanese manufacturer, known for its healthcare products, would like to redefine this process with its clinically accurate upper arm blood pressure monitor, the data of which can be recorded and evaluated with the associated app via Bluetooth. To what extent this works and whether the proud price of currently around 140 euros is worth or can be worthwhile, you can find out in this review.

Design and functionality

The Omron EVOLV is pretty fancy at first glance, as most blood pressure monitors are relatively ugly and designed to be more functional. It has a very slim figure and looks and comes without cables, tubes or anything else. But many of them can do without these, even their own cheaper alternatives. The cuff supports an upper arm circumference between approx. 22 and 44 cm and does not have to sit perfectly in the right place, as the device uses its own Intelli Wrap technology to carry out a 360 degree measurement at several points in order to achieve the most accurate result possible . As a result, the orientation does not matter. It is fastened with a Velcro fastener that holds very well. In general, the cuff is of high quality and long-lasting.

The measuring device itself is made of plastic and despite the relatively large measuring unit, the OLED display is a bit narrow and small. That is enough for me and my parents, for example, but older people with poor eyesight in particular will probably want a larger display. In the app you can see the whole thing a little bigger. The fact that the display is so small is probably due to the thin structure, as the device should also convince in terms of design. It is good, however, that the values are easy to read even in the dark and are displayed clearly.

The display only shows the last measurement, but the last 100 are still saved for later synchronization with the app. If this limit is exceeded, the entries are replaced. The pulse, diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure are displayed. In contrast to other measuring devices, the measurement begins immediately after pressing the start button and ends immediately as soon as the device is fully inflated, so that the whole thing does not become uncomfortable or cause pain. Meanwhile it also shows whether the heartbeat is regular. It is a pity that the latter is not listed in the app.

While the pulse can now be measured very precisely with almost everything, whether it is a 10 Euro wrist measuring device from Lidl, a cheap fitness bracelet or Samsung Galaxy flagships with their sensors on the back, blood pressure measurement is not that easy. The 10 Euro wrist measuring device from Lidl was actually pretty accurate when measuring blood pressure, but positioning and correct use are important here (e.g. also that you have to keep your wrist at heart level). It’s a little more convenient with a device like the Omron EVOLV. When I happened to be at the doctor I trust and took the device with me, he apparently already knew it and confirmed to me that the measurements are pretty accurate, no matter how you attach or use it.

The manufacturer himself states the following: “Deviations in pressure: +/- 3 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) and in pulse: +/- 5% of the displayed value. These deviations even exceed the provisions of the EC directive 93/42 / EEC (directive on medical devices) and the European standard EN1060 for non-invasive blood pressure monitors with regard to Part 1: General requirements and Part 3: Additional requirements for electromechanical blood pressure measuring systems.

This refers to an older standard, DIN EN 1060, which was replaced in 2011 by DIN EN 80601-2-30. In addition, the requirements of the PTB (LMKM) also apply in Germany, which stipulate a maximum deviation of +/- 3 mm Hg or 2%. These are not exceeded, but the requirements are met by the manufacturer (thanks to our reader Michael in the comments for pointing this out).

Next to the start / stop button there is another button that enables you to connect to the device via Bluetooth or transfer data to the app at the push of a button.

I think it’s a shame that you have to use four AAA batteries. I would have found a battery that was nicer and far more modern. The approx. 300 measurements that can be made with the batteries are good, but in an emergency, rechargeable batteries can be charged faster than batteries. For the price, you could have easily installed a battery.

The scope of delivery also includes a bag to store the device.

Software

Let’s get to the app. The Omron Connect app works with iOS and Android and serves as a central hub for all supported Omron products, so that all kinds of data can be saved here. You don’t necessarily have to use this, as some external apps, such as Google Fit, also support the Omron devices.

At first I had connection problems, but that resolved immediately the next day. I can’t say why that was. After the measurement, as soon as the smartphone is nearby and Bluetooth is switched on, the data is usually automatically transferred to the smartphone. If not, you have to help. To do this, press the connection button once and swipe the main display down in the app. Usually this is not actually necessary.

The data is then displayed here sorted and shown in graphs. These values are stored locally on the device, but you can also create a profile to have the data stored in the Omron cloud. So you can easily switch from device to device and take the data with you. You can also export this in the form of a CSV file, which you can send to your doctor or others by e-mail, for example. Unfortunately, the file cannot be imported again, so you have to rely on the cloud when changing devices. If you don’t want to use this service, that’s not exactly ideal.

It is incomprehensible that you cannot simply create different profiles. You have to use two different apps or, if you can, clone the app. If you use the cloud, you can also log in and log out. With the first two methods, however, you have to be careful that you connect to the second device / app before the measurement, otherwise it will automatically be synchronized again with the first device / app, or switch off the automatic synchronization completely and synchronize it manually. Having several family members at a glance is therefore not possible without detours.

Price and availability

The Omron EVOLV is available online or at some pharmacies. It costs around 169 euros in the RRP, although it can also be found online for around 140 euros. It is interesting that this black version with the model number HEM-7600T-E can only be found in the EU market. If you look at the US market you will find a device called the Omron EVOLV with the designation BP7000, which only costs around 80 euros (with VAT included). Except for the white color and the lack of a pocket, it appears to be the same device. Why the price for the European market is so high (RRP Europe 169 euros and RRP US $ 99 excluding VAT) is not really clear. But it is definitely not cheap.