Hypertension affects more than 70 million adults in the United States, and even more individuals remain undiagnosed. Hypertension increases the risk of developing other serious health conditions, such as heart attacks, kidney damage, and stroke. Even though there are multiple devices on the market that enable people to track their blood pressure at home, consumer adoption of these self-monitoring devices has remained somewhat limited due to persistent deficits in design, portability, accuracy, and/or usability.
MOCACARE, a Silicon Valley company focused on developing consumer cardiovascular monitoring devices–with their flagship product, MOCAheart–just unveiled their cutting edge, wireless, and automatic wrist blood pressure monitor, MOCACuff. We at Medgadget were one of the first to test this new device to see what sets it apart from other currently available home blood pressure monitors. MOCACuff has been granted FDA clearance in the United States and is CE-Certified in the European market.
Design and Fit:
The MOCACuff is stored in a small, streamlined case that is black, rigid, and has a zipper closure. As the MOCACuff monitors blood pressure at the wrist, it is smaller in size and offers a more comfortable fit than bulkier devices that monitor blood pressure at the upper arm. This also makes the MOCACuff and its container more discreet and portable than many of the other devices on the market. The device itself is made up of hard plastic with an LCD screen attached to a soft, black wrist strap that folds in on itself for storage. The wrist strap is curved and rigid on one end to hook onto the user’s wrist, which frees up the user’s other hand to tighten the Velcro strap without difficulty. The display screen is about 1 5/8 inch x 1 3/8 inch in area, but it remains very easy to read. To the right of the display screen is a color-coded indicator made up of a vertical series of dots that begins with green and transitions to orange and then red to show users how their blood pressure reading compares to the American Heart Association’s blood pressure categories (i.e. green is optimal and red suggests hypertension).
Setting up the MOCACuff device was simple and straightforward. It is powered by AAA batteries, which are included. The first thing you do with your new device is set up the time and date and then follow the five steps outlined on the included instruction card in order to download the free MOCACARE app – available for both iOS and Android – and sync the device to your smartphone. This syncing capability allows users to track their blood pressure and heart rate readings over time. A more detailed user manual is also included to review all the features offered by the MOCACuff.
One concern with wrist-based blood pressure cuffs is that they tend to be less accurate than upper arm devices. When I compared the MOCACuff blood pressure reading to an available upper arm device, I found the readings to be within 5 mmHg of each other. Also, the accuracy of the MOCACuff improved when I placed my tested arm across my chest as outlined on the instruction card. The MOCACuff has been clinically tested against a mercury sphygmomanometer, the gold standard for blood pressure measurement, and the MOCACuff accuracy is described as ±3 mmHg for pressure and ±5% Max for pulse.
After donning the cuff, the user pushes the start/stop button to begin cuff inflation. The inflation process is relatively quiet and comfortable, as excessive overinflation does not occur with this device. The pulse and blood pressure readings appear on the LCD screen immediately after deflation of the cuff. The screen also indicates any irregular heartbeat that is present. Bluetooth technology allows the measurements to be transferred to the MOCACARE app with one push of a button on your smartphone. Users can easily review their measurements in sequential order and visually track the changes in their blood pressure over time. The app also categorizes a user’s measurements based on the American Heart Association’s guidelines and offers advice below each reading on how to improve the user’s heart health through lifestyle modifications. Users may also share their measurements with their healthcare providers without having to write these readings down on paper.
Overall, I believe the MOCACuff adequately addresses the limitations apparent in other self-monitoring blood pressure devices. It is sleek, comfortable, user-friendly, highly portable, and reasonably priced at $69.99. In my opinion, one of the best features of the MOCACuff is the included MOCACARE app for your smartphone, which, for iOS users, syncs with Apple Health. Not only does the app allow users to monitor their heart rate and blood pressure, but it also empowers users to make a positive change in their heart health through helping them understand their measurements, share results, and directly visualize their progress over time.
Display (LCD): Liquid Crystal Display
Device Size: 135~195mm (5.3~7.7inch)
Device Weight :97.5g ± 10 g (3.44 oz ± 0.35 oz)
Unit Dimension: 74 X 74.5 X 30.5 mm (L X W X H)
2.91 X 2.93 X 1.20 inch (L X W X H)
Battery Life: DC 3 V, AAA Alkaline Battery x2, Approx. 200 measurements
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 / BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
Compatibility: Operates on iOS 8 or higher, Android 4.0.3 or higher. May not be compatible with certain models.
Link to purchase on Amazon…
Product page: MOCAcuff…