Samsung has announced a new app for the Galaxy Watch Active 2 that is capable of blood pressure monitoring. Called Samsung Health Monitor, the app is claimed to have been certified by South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), which qualified it as a “Software as a Medical Device (SaMD)”. What this means is Samsung can market the new app as a government-cleared, over-the-counter, and cuff-less blood pressure monitoring solution for measuring and tracking blood pressure level of Galaxy Watch Active 2 users. It must be noted that the app is only compatible with the Galaxy Watch Active 2 and upcoming Samsung smartwatches, and will be released in Q3 2020.
The Samsung Health Monitor app allows the Galaxy Watch Active 2 to measure blood pressure through pulse wave analysis, a process that employs the smartwatch's heart rate sensors. But there is a catch here. The app and Samsung's smartwatch cannot monitor blood pressure on their own from scratch. Instead, they rely on readings obtained from a medically certified blood pressure measuring cuff, a process Samsung calls calibration. The readings are fed manually and then processed via the app's algorithms to monitor the blood flow change in the vessels and provide a BP reading.
Users will have to measure their ‘actual blood pressure' using a BP cuff every four weeks and accordingly calibrate the Galaxy Watch Active 2 so that it can track and monitor their blood pressure levels. Watch the following video to see how the Samsung Health Monitor app will work on the Galaxy Watch Active 2:
However, this is not necessarily a new feature for a Samsung smartwatch. The first-gen Galaxy Watch Active that went official in 2019 was also capable of measuring blood pressure levels via the My BP Lab app developed in collaboration with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). However, this feature was exclusive to only a handful of countries. Also, it was an opt-in program of sorts that required users to give their consent for sharing information regarding their stress and blood pressure levels throughout the day with UCSF researchers.