Perhaps one day in the (not too far off) future self monitoring of blood pressure will be done by some kind of app, or at the very least not mean using any expensive equipment.
In the meantime though, some exciting progress has been made by researchers from Edinburgh University, who have been looking at the links between self monitoring and the effect it has on blood pressure with a portable kit that can be used at home to take measurements. Over a few months, hundreds of people who had high blood pressure took part in a trial, using the 'telemonitoring' system.
Interestingly, it was found that the the people in the trial who had access to the self-monitoring equipment found that their blood pressure was reduced further than the group who didn't. The researchers believe this may be to do with the fact that those who could monitor their own blood pressure would be more likely to use medication for their condition, presumably due to seeing the positive effects on a regular basis via the system.
Interestingly, though, using the telemonitoring equipment - while it had the positive affects mentioned above - didn't have much effect on the lifestyles of those in the trial - salt consumption and so forth. The researchers recommend carrying out a longer scale test over a bigger time period to see the results on blood pressure and the cost-effectiveness of the monitoring.