If you are a professional in the medical field, you know there are many different blood pressure device and cuff manufacturers in the market (e.g. GE, Welch Allyn, CasMed, Trimline, etc). You would also know that it is common for hospitals and physician's offices to use one manufacturer's blood pressure device and use a different manufacturer's BP cuffs. As a manufacturer of both blood pressure monitors and blood pressure cuffs, a common question we receive is "Will the BP cuff I am currently using work with a SunTech blood pressure monitor?"
One would think the logical answer would be "Yes", since a cuff is just a cuff...right? Unfortunately, that is not true.
A clinical grade blood pressure monitor is required by the FDA to be validated according to the AAMI SP10 standard protocol for blood pressure monitors (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation). During the validation process a blood pressure monitor and a blood pressure cuff are considered a complete system. Therefore, all clinical-grade blood pressure monitors have been designed, programmed and validated with specific cuffs.
The bladder size and type of material used in a cuff can have an impact on the accuracy of the measurement with a specific blood pressure monitor. For example, Company X's blood pressure monitor was validated according to the AAMI SP10 protocol with Company X's blood pressure cuffs. Company X can now state that using their blood pressure cuffs with their monitor will produce an accurate blood pressure measurement. However, if a physician or nurse wants to use Company Y's cuffs with Company X's BP monitor, Company X can not state that Company Y's cuffs are compatible (i.e., will produce accurate results) with Company's X's monitor, unless Company X has validated Company Y's cuffs using the AAMI SP10 protocol.
In summary, another manufacturer's cuffs may "work" on specific blood pressure monitors, but the blood pressure monitors may not be producing "accurate" readings based on the fact that the monitor's algorithms were not designed, programmed and validated to work with another manufacturer's cuffs.