[Update: Rolllout] Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 gets cleared for ECG monitoring by South Korea
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 represents the Korean company’s biggest push into health tracking. It has Samsung’s most accurate smartwatch health sensor with 8 photodiodes, double the number on the original Galaxy Watch Active, and an ECG sensor. These new sensors were added to support two of the smartwatch’s headlining features: ECG and blood pressure monitoring. However, neither feature is actually available on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 yet since Samsung needs to clear regulatory hurdles before they can enable them. After months of waiting, Samsung has announced they are getting ready to launch ECG monitoring on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 after the feature was approved in South Korea.
In a press release, Samsung announced that the South Korean MFDS, or Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, gave Samsung clearance to activate both blood pressure tracking and ECG monitoring onto the Galaxy Watch Active 2. This will enable users in the country to monitor their blood pressure for irregularities such as high blood pressure (hypertension) as well as their heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation (Afib), which are two of the leading causes of strokes. It is worth noting that Samsung says these features are not to be used to detect heart attacks.
ECG monitoring will require the user to place their finger on the top button of the watch while holding still. It will then track your heart rate and rhythm and classify the rhythm as either a Normal Sinus Rhythm or showing signs of Afib.
The Samsung Blood Pressure Monitor and Samsung Health Monitor apps leaked a few days ago and the general consensus has been that it is pretty accurate. According to a PDF inside of the apk, the blood pressure should be within, give or take, 5 mmHg of the actual BP. This is pretty accurate when considering you aren’t using a traditional blood pressure cuff. Although the ECG app for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 also leaked, it’s unfortunately not working if you have an Android device paired to your watch.
Samsung said the official launch of these features should be sometime in the third quarter of this year, but they did not mention exactly when the feature will launch. Due to regulatory reasons, these apps may launch in your region later or not at all. These apps are only coming to the current Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, but Samsung did announce they will be available on a future Galaxy Watch device.
Update: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 gets ECG monitoring functionality in South Kora
During Samsung Unpacked 2020, Samsung had a surprise announcement wherein they mentioned that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 received U.S. FDA approval for its ECG monitoring app. That is good news indeed. Another good news this week is the fact that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is also receiving ECG monitoring functionality in South Korea.
According to a report by Tizenhelp, Samsung has activated the Electrocardiogram feature on the Watch Active 2 in South Korea. Users need to download and install the Samsung Health Monitor app on the watch and the paired smartphone to use it. On this watch, the ECG function will inform you about Atrial Fibrillation or AFib & Sinus rhythm. It gives Sinus rhythm when there is nothing wrong, and it gives results of Atrial Fibrillation when the heart rates are more than usual. There are also two more outputs, Judgement failure & Signal failure, when the measurement is wrong or value is incorrect, respectively, so users won’t panic. As the report notes, the use of ECG is very simple on the watch — you just have to wear it and run the app.