Watching Every Beat With the Braun ActivScan 9 | Blood Pressure Monitor

Here's a matter close to my heart, pun intended. I've recently road tested the ActivScan 9 which is one of two new blood pressure monitors recently launched by Braun. The ActivScan™ 9 is a comfortable and intuitive blood pressure monitor. It measures and stores your blood pressure, which you can access through the dynamic user interface.

The monitor is fully compatible with smartphone devices via the Braun Healthy Heart app, which lets you access your data anytime, anywhere and enter lifestyle data to create a complete picture of your health and lifestyle.



Why do I need an ActivScan 9?

It's time to start paying attention to what your body is telling you. High Blood Pressure is one of the major contributing factors to heart failure and research conducted by Braun tells us that almost two thirds of adults don’t consider themselves to have a healthy lifestyle.

Ask yourself what is more important, following the progress of your own blood pressure, or following the progress of some stranger and their cats on Instagram?

With ActivScan 9 you can synchronise this data with your calendar, include some lifestyle features like sleep, exercise diet etc. You can then see how all these variables impact your blood pressure. This information will be a great source of reference for your doctor when it comes to prescribing illnesses and monitoring your health.

Braun, whose new generation blood pressure monitors provide smart, intuitive readings that are easy to understand, is working with experts to help raise awareness of the benefits of regular monitoring and the positive lifestyle changes.

Their four leading experts specialise in Sleep (Elite Sport Sleep Coach), Mood (CEO of the Happiness Research Institute), Diet & Nutrition (@FitnessOnToast) and Hypertension (Medical).



My personal story

Around 5 years ago now I had a heart operation to correct a congenital heart defect, which remained undetected since birth. The condition was a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) which is common in premature babies although rare that it would have been undetected through 30 or so years of my life. The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects the two major arteries (Aorta & Pulmonary) whilst the baby is in the womb and is an essential part of blood circulation. This connection allows blood to be pumped from the right side of the heart straight to the aorta, without stopping at the lungs for oxygen. While a baby is in the womb, only a small amount of his or her blood needs to go to the lungs. This is because the baby gets oxygen from the mother's bloodstream. When the baby is born, the ductus arteriosus closes, allowing normal blood flow to your own lungs to get oxygen. Mine simply didn’t close and remained open or Patent.

In short having a PDA for 30+ years caused increased strain on my heart and therefore the heart was working harder to pump blood around my body, leading to my heart (left ventricle) becoming enlarged to counteract that increased workload. I always think about my heart now and how to care for it and monitoring blood pressure is an essential part of that.

It is hard to say what long-term strain or damage has been done to my heart if any, but what I do know is that this heart defect could have been fatal. I guess I was lucky that a) the PDA diameter wasn’t large (b) I have always led a healthy active lifestyle.

Detection of my heart defect was simple; the PDA causes a continuous heart murmur, always present, always detectable. The Braun ActivScan 9 can help detect high or low blood pressure and irregular heart beats, so if I had this device years ago, who knows I may have detected it much sooner.


How easy is it to use the ActivScan 9?

I know, it's another mouth to feed right? Another piece of technology we have to get to grips with. Luckily the ActivScan 9 is swift and easy to use. (Even I didn't need to read the instructions).

Once it has read your blood pressure it colour-codes your results, from green to red so you can interpret your heart’s health at a single glance.

The dynamic user interface is simple and intuitive to use and the full colour display is controlled by an easy navigation wheel and soft touch buttons.

Their custom-made, pinch-to-open cuff fits easily around your upper arm and uses soft inflate technology. This provides gentle measurement, enabling you to discover your blood pressure comfortably.


Where can I get my hands on one?

Braun blood pressure monitors are available to purchase from Boots. For more information visit the Braun website at


*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Braun Blood Pressure Monitors.

Breaking News to me! Men Can Get Thrush Too | Let's Talk Health


Gentleman, brace yourselves I have some deeply disturbing news. Breaking news in fact. The kind of news the president of the United States of America might interrupt a special broadcast for. Men can get Thrush. I know it's devastating. Just when you think the only thing we had to worry about in life was our fantasy football team, this.

Wait, what do you mean you knew? Are you just saying you knew because you don't want to appear thick by not knowing? Ok so for some it may be old news, but for many this is a real head turner. I asked some close friends whether they knew, most didn't. One friend even told me that we can get breast cancer, which was another blow. Did I miss a crucial biology lesson in school? What a week of revelations this has turned out to be. 

I'm very much an open book these days, my philosophy is ‘ask me anything’, I'll shoot you straight. It's a lot less time consuming being transparent. Frankly I think you get further down the road in life if you're not constantly spending time trying to cover your tracks. I've never had male thrush thankfully, but I'm happy to have the conversation about it, particularly if it helps more men embrace the subject. 

A lot of men of shy away from intimate issues such as these. We're not wired like women to discuss our vulnerabilities and insecurities unless we're trying to be all 'new man'. There is one brand that's helping to quickly diminish the lack of awareness and inappropriate emotional embarrassment that shrouds this subject matter, Canesten®.

Canesten®, Bayer Consumer Health’s heritage brand, is the number one brand in Women’s Intimate Health category offering solutions for all common intimate conditions, as well as everyday intimate care products.

They've launched a campaign called Let’s Talk Health that not only brings some awareness to male thrush, but encourages them to talk about intimate issues. Intimate health is not just a feminine issue and this is why Canesten® would like you to open up the conversation and discuss health issues that everyone should be aware of. Let’s Talk Health is focused on widening the conversation around the topic of thrush, and how it is important for everyone to understand common health conditions.

Thrush is a common yeast infection, experienced by both men and women of all ages and you can contract it just as easily as you can get athletes foot or any other fungal infection. If you’re experiencing problems or discomfort, then consult your GP or visit the Canesten® website for more details on symptoms.

This post has been supported by Canesten®, but all thoughts are my own.