I have not had this unit for long, but - in theory - like it very much. In use... I think I'd much prefer the unit which includes the cuff and whatever other method tracks the air pressure in the cuff over the digital display of my automatic cuff. As a programmer, I look at the display during the use of the device as more of a "screen saver" or just as a way of displaying feedback of ANY kind to the user to let them know the device is working... I would NOT count on these numbers to be accurate or to be used as the basis of an actual reading. I would imagine the manufacturer was more concerned with the accuracy of the final readout as opposed to the "real-time" pressure gauge during use. And I use this last phrase extremely loosely... as the digital display - at least on my kit - updates once per second or second and a half, and certainly doesn't iterate through every number. This data is therefore extremely lossy... and it's difficult to know if my true reading is the number I'm seeing, or a number I'm not seeing because the frame corresponding to my pulse does not match up with the moment the display has updated to the correct information.
I can also verify that - if my automatic pressure kit is 100% accurate - I would not be able to validate its results by the "real time" display of information during deflation, as very often the final result that is on the display matches exactly none of the numbers that were shown on display during deflation. So, even if the display is perfectly correlated to actual pressure, the refresh rate of the display is nowhere near fast enough to provide a true reading during deflation. I can't say if the use of the accutension stethoscope helps me to identify an inaccuracy in its final reading, or if it just shows me how far off the "real time" display is from the final reading, whether the final reading is accurate or not is still unknowable.
The instructions included with the accutension stethoscope do not include instructions on how to check your blood pressure with a manual blood pressure kit. It certainly should, as this is critical information to have in order to get any value out of this device. Having learned how to - at this point - I have determined that the digital display of my automatic blood pressure kit has too low a refresh rate to have any real value, but that's all I've determined. I feel I would much better benefit from having a manual sphygmomanometer to take a video of using this same device, eliminating all guess work or need to read the result quickly... and the peaks of beats in the waveform included would make this particular task incredibly easy. The difficulty would only be in managing the phone and the rest of the equipment at the same time, which is - by far - the most difficult part of the current arrangement. If you were to sell a nifty little stand to sit the analogue dial and my phone on to where they were in an ideal position to get a great video of the analogue dial, I'd absolutely order it. Otherwise, I'd absolutely buy the version of this which includes the cuff, as I assume it uses the phone to display the pressure values in real-time... except actual real-time, and iterating through many more numbers more quickly so that the accuracy of the display would no longer be an additional issue.
Sometimes... when clicking "record" in the app, the app itself minimizes instead of doing what is expected. I'm not sure why or how, but it's done this to me at least 3 times.
Sometimes, after plugging everything in... the phone records from it's built-in mic instead of from the steth. I'm not sure why, but I have to unplug everything, restart the app and plug everything back in to fix it. Simply unplugging and replugging isn't enough by itself, the app itself also needs restarted. It would be nice - if for this reason if for no other - to have some kind of "test" button or something like it... like I know I'm not going to do an actual recording, but I need to hear something on my headphones to know everything is working. For now, I'm just doing a test record and then retesting when I'm really ready... but maybe something in the instructions should be telling me to be ready for that since about 1 of every 3 times, the phone is using the wrong input for sound.
It would be cool if the app had a shortcut for the phone's built-in light... for some reason the display is too dark to read - even on the video - when trying to get a standing reading... the phone sort of has a solution to that built-in, it's just not accessible while using the app in any quick and easy way.
It would be nice to be able to trim or crop the video... since the peaks of the pulse are nearly invisible if any part of the inflation sounds are included in the video. Either that... or an ability to "zoom in" to the quieter parts. (zoom in isn't the correct phrase.... more like "exaggerate"... just make the smaller peaks more obvious if needed, no actual change to the sound file is needed, but any ability to modify how the waveform is displayed should be fine here)
There should be a method to "mark" peaks of the sound of the pulse in the waveform. Marking any consecutive two would give the app enough information to provide a very accurate heart rate as well. Marking more than one should average the results, improving the accuracy of this reading. Really, I don't see any reason this wouldn't happen automatically using software other than that additional sounds could be misappropriately marked as heartbeats... but giving the user the ability to manually point them out would certainly solve this problem... and timing would be part of the video so wouldn't have any discrepancy to worry about. This, or any indication of time along the drawn waveform would at least give anyone curious enough all they needed to mathematically deduce their heart rate.
The base around the plug on the steth itself is too large around and my iPhone's case interferes with it. The adapters, however, do not have this issue. I think a future model of this might benefit from a thinner base for the plug like the adapters have.
I like the idea of getting a more accurate reading, of storing the result and having the ability to play it back. I would love to purchase the version with the cuff if/when it becomes available again, but for now feel I'd have a higher degree of certainty about the readings if I exchanged my automatic device with a manual one. Now that I know how to use one, that certainly seems to be the way to go. I think this is a great idea overall, I just have no faith in the numeric reading I see during cuff deflation on my automatic kit. I have no idea what standard - if any - those numbers are being held to, but based on the slowness of update, it was not a concern during the manufacture of the kit I have. I feel the only way to get the full value of your product, I'll need to supplement it with a manual unit or with your version of the automatic cuff.
If you make the other unit (with the cuff) available again, please let me know. If you devise a clever accessory for holding the phone and manual analogue dial... please let me know. I'll - of course - update my app regularly, but if you guys decide to devise a Pro version with some of the crazy features I was talking about... please let me know. Also, thanks for forcing me to learn how to properly test blood pressure. This experience has been educational - if nothing else.