Blood Pressure Uncuffed™ Volume 5: Spot Check vs. Continuous Monitoring. What’s the difference?

January 5, 2024. By Sophie Cook

Monitoring your health can be confusing when there’s so many kinds of health & wellness devices to choose from. Your doctor may recommend something specific, but oftentimes you may be scouring the internet or drugstores to find the best way to monitor your condition. There are two main ways to monitor health: Spot Checks and Continuous Monitoring. Spot checks are used to take a quick reading in a single bout which reveals one measurement. Continuous monitoring is 24/7 recording that takes a measurement every few seconds or minutes to see trends in your health throughout the entire day.  

Spot Check 

A spot check is a quick random examination that is measured at one moment in time. A spot check is useful if you need to take a reading (of whatever vital you’re tracking) to see where you stand at a certain point in time. This specific measure provides a snapshot of your health at the precise moment when the measurement is taken (2). This method is convenient for those whose condition(s) don’t need to be monitored 24/7. To get a better understanding of what a spot check is, here are a couple examples:  

  • Spot check Heart Rate:  
    • Checking your heart rate at one moment in time  
    • Taking your pulse at 9am, 2pm, & 8pm  
    • Checking your pulse before and after a workout 
  • Spot check Blood Pressure: 
    • Having BP measured at one moment in time  
    • Doctor taking BP at yearly checkup 
    • Using an automated cuff at home to take BP in the morning and at night (3) 
    • Taking BP with at home device at 8am, 12pm, & 9pm 

Typically, a spot check is done with a handheld, portable, or tabletop device (1) to provide a quick glance at your health status in that one moment. However, if you do regular spot checks and record those measures, you’ll be able to track trends in your health which can offer your healthcare provider a glimpse into your overall health status.  


Continuous Monitoring 

Continuous monitoring is 24/7 health monitoring that shows trends of your vitals and how they fluctuate throughout the day, and when sleeping. This type of monitoring gives physicians a 360 view of a patient and provides greater insight into their daily life, which can help the physician make decisions and weigh treatment options (2). This type of monitoring can also alert doctors with timely notifications if there is a serious health threat, and lead to quick interventions (2). Below are a few examples of what continuous monitoring looks like:  

  • Continuously Monitor Heart Rate 
    • Having a wearable device that continuously tracks your heart rate the entire time you wear it 
    • A watch constantly reporting a HR value the entire time you wear it (hours, days, etc.) 
    • Adhesive patch worn on chest that records HR the duration of the time you wear it 
    • Wearable ECG that records heart rhythm to detect any abnormalities the entire time you wear it (days, weeks, etc.) 
  • Continuously Monitor Blood Pressure 
    • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring using a cuff on your arm and small device attached to a belt for 24-hour period (while awake and asleep) 
      • Device usually records a BP reading every 15-30 minutes during the day and every 60 minutes while sleeping (3) 

This type of monitoring offers more data, but can be much more invasive. Continuous monitoring is usually done alongside physician recommendation and follow-up to see the best course of action for said condition. More recently, people have become infatuated with continuously monitoring certain health vitals on their own (like heart rate).  


How Valencell Solves a Unique Problem 

At Valencell, we are set to deliver a non-invasive Fingertip Blood Pressure Monitor*, the first over the counter, cuffless, & calibration free blood pressure device and mobile app. No need to lug around a cuff, our device will be a portable & discreet fingertip monitor that provides a spot check for BP anytime, anywhere. Paired with the mobile app, it will record and track your BP readings so you can see trends in your daily health. You can even set reminders for when to take your measure. These recordings can be saved and sent to your doctor if necessary, so they can monitor your condition from afar. Your health should be top priority, and we are here to help make living longer healthier lives that much easier.  

*Not FDA Cleared. Not for sale in the US.