Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has taken another big step in offering blood pressure monitoring, a feature that Samsung has been promising since the original Galaxy Watch Active was released in 2019. This week saw Samsung’s Health Monitor app obtain regulatory approval from the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), the first government agency to do so, but there are a lot of caveats that raise the question of how useful Samsung’s measurements really will be.
The first hurdle is that the app is only approved in South Korea, meaning users in other countries have yet to wait for approval from their own government agencies. And even in South Korea, Samsung says the app will only be available in the third quarter of this year and only on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 (although it hopes to extend the feature to upcoming Galaxy Watch devices in the future).
The other catch is that Samsung’s blood pressure measuring app is no substitute for traditional measuring cuffs. Like VentureBeat notesusers will need to calibrate the app at least every four weeks by manually entering a measurement from a standard blood pressure cuff, with each calibration requiring three separate measurements for accuracy.
That means that Samsung’s app – when launched – will likely only help improve regular blood pressure readings, rather than serving as a full-fledged replacement for the feature.
Still, the announcement of an official app with legal approval (albeit for only one country) is a big step forward for Samsung. It previously only offered blood pressure measurement on the Galaxy Active and Active 2 via a very limited opt-in study with an app called My BP Lab developed with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).