What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is actually the pressure of blood in your vascular system in your body. It is expressed in mmHg (or millimeters of mercury) and is important to give information about what the pressure of blood your body’s organs are exposed to every day.

Systolic over diastolic (for example 120/70 mmHg) is the main way that blood pressure can be expressed while recording your vitals (see this link for more information!). The reason that the top number is important is that it can tell doctors and other clinicians important information about how well your heart is pumping, the amount of circulating colloids and minerals (such as salt) in your blood, how well your kidneys are filtering out water, and how stiff with calcium your blood vessels are.

Providers get concerned if your blood pressure is high because it means that organs such as your heart, brain, kidneys, eyes (or virtually any organ in your body) is exposed to high pressures. This causes your heart to do more work to have to push against high pressures in your vessels and over time can lead to either enlargement of the heart, dilation, and over time weakening or death of heart tissue.

It has been shown that measuring your blood pressure every day can reduce your blood pressure, as people who measure their pressure are more likely to do things to change their blood pressure for the better such as eating a healthier diet, taking blood pressure medication if needed, exercising, and practicing other wellness activities.

Our goal is to improve your blood pressure through making it easy to check your blood pressure, store your data, and be able to access your data anytime. And of course, we value your privacy so your data is your own – we would never share or divulge any data without your permission.

Your data

Typically, the information that is generated from your body, or information about you or your healthcare is stored with other parties that are collecting the information.

For example, if you use a fitness or a wearable tracker, this data is stored within the databases of that company. This usually happens through the wearable connecting through its bluetooth to another bluetooth device (such as your phone), and transmitting the data via an app on your phone that holds the data to the company the next time you login to the internet.

This is good for keeping track of your data, and for being able to access it but there are important considerations that can arise. This includes:

  1. Privacy – companies have vague terms outlined in their privacy policies which the majority of consumers do not read. This can make it difficult to understand what a company is actually doing with your data. Take for example the sale of consumer genomic data by 23andMe to GSK for 300 million dollars! Companies are starting to make a profit from your data, without you truly consenting or being aware.
  2. Security – increasing threats from outside hackers are making it harder than ever to keep your data safe. Although some data may seem benign (such as your age or sex), companies can use this data to target you, or at worst, steal your data. It’s important that your data should be secure.
  3. Ethical considerations – your data should be your own – not another company’s! This allows you to make decisions about if you would like to share this for research or you would like to keep your information private. When you are in the driver’s seat you have a clear understanding of when and how your data is being used.

Our products are geared towards ensuring that you are able to easily measure and monitor your vital signs and other health data, as well as gain actionable and important insights.

We never share your data without your express consent, and you decide what to do with your data.

Understanding your blood pressure

Lumas was designed to make checking your blood pressure a piece of cake. But what exactly is your blood pressure?

We all get our blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office. Generally, the doctor will let us know if the blood pressure is normal, high, or low. But what do these values really mean, and how does this influence your health?

Your blood pressure is measured in mmHg, which is millimeters of mercury. This literally measures the pressure of your blood as it goes through your body.

It has two components:

  1. Systolic blood pressure – the top number of the blood pressure reading. This is actually the pressure of your blood when your heart is squeezing the blood out (during the systolic phase of your heart beat!)
  2. Diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number of the blood pressure reading. This is the blood pressure when your heart is relaxed (the diastolic phase of your heart beat).

There is also another value of your blood pressure that is rarely reported:

  1. The mean arterial pressure or MAP – this is usually not reported to patients, but is a number the doctors can check to look at the average of your blood pressure in your body.

Each of these values in important, although doctors tend to look at the top number (your systolic blood pressure) the most.

Doctors use this information to diagnose illnesses, as well as prevent other illnesses by putting you on medication. There are multiple different types of medications used which are covered in this post. The majority of medications are prescribed for people with high blood pressure, but there are also medications for people with low blood pressure as well.

Visit these resources to find out what can cause a high blood pressure or low blood pressure.