Blood Pressure Monitor or Unit: FSA Eligibility
Treas. Reg. '1.213-1(e)(1)(ii)
What is a blood pressure monitor used for?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is among the most common health issues faced by U.S. adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 million Americans, or 1 in 3 adults, suffer from hypertension. High blood pressure can lead to major health issues like heart attacks, stroke or aneurysms, but alarmingly, just 52 percent of Americans actively work to control their conditions (American Heart Association). Blood pressure monitors or units are one of the most effective means of home monitoring, but they have come a long way from the classic cuff and manual sphygmomanometers that are fixtures in physicians' offices.
Modern blood pressure monitors can not only deliver fast and accurate readings, but some can now offer a much larger selection of features that can provide a more comprehensive picture of the state of an individual's hypertension. Some advanced features that consumers can consider are Bluetooth compatibility with mobile devices, irregular heartbeat detection, longitudinal readings, averaging of previous readings, capability to handle multiple users and much more (Huffington Post).
Why is home blood pressure monitoring important?
Hypertension sufferers can work toward improving their conditions with improved diet and exercise habits, as well as through the use of blood pressure medications, but ideally this is a condition that must be closely analyzed with the help of a physician. Blood pressure monitors can give doctors a better sense of a patient's condition by providing a time-lapse picture. Additionally, patients charting out these numbers over time can help to eliminate false readings that could lead to over-diagnosis or misdiagnosis of the condition as a whole.
Ultimately, patients should consult their physicians for advice when making an eligible purchase of a blood pressure monitor to ensure they are making the right choice for their long-term health goals. As a general rule of thumb, the American Heart Association recommends a device that features automatic function in a cuff style that fits over the upper arm, as opposed to wrist or finger monitors that could result in less accurate readings.