June 20, 2020

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Supports Service as a Blood Pressure Monitor

My primary wearables usage is to track my sleep, stress and running. While the Apple Watch’s ECG function was vital to some folks, I tried the ECG several times and got normal readings so it was of limited value to me. Sometime this year, this feature will also come to users of Galaxy Watch.

One key health measurement that interests me is blood pressure monitoring, so for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 I anticipated the release of this capability. The folks at XDA Developers posted an article last month detailing the steps to allow for this on your Active 2 now.

A few days ago, after it went through regulatory approval, Samsung officially rolled out support for BP monitoring in Korea. This feature is planned for release in the US, but must be approved by FDA before release. Rumors have indicated that the Galaxy Watch 3 may launch the blood pressure monitoring feature, so we can see the official release of the US in the coming months.

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As a teenager, I was all set to attend either the Air Force Academy or the US Coast Guard Academy when the Department of Defense physician determined that I had a heart murmur so my dreams were dashed for some time. My blood pressure has always been elevated at the doctor’s office since that period of time and it’s been diagnosed that I have white coat syndrome. This leads me to show high blood pressure just about every time I visit the doctor’s office, but then taking my blood pressure at home has turned out to be at the top of the normal range.

Since I purchased a Golf Edition model after the LTE version had serious problems with T-Mobile, the ability of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, to measure my blood pressure at any time during the day, is key to helping me check whether or not I might have hypertension. Unfortunately, after a few weeks of testing it’s clear that I need to visit my doctor for further assessment.

You need to install an upgrade to the Watch Active 2 to use the blood pressure feature, and install a separate Samsung Health Monitor device on an Android phone. Blood pressure readings are not part of Samsung Safety.

There is also a three-reading calibration process with a certified blood pressure cuff, where you can place and monitor your Watch Active 2 as the cuff captures your blood pressure. You can then use your Galaxy Watch Active 2 to measure your blood pressure throughout the day, after this calibration process. With your blood pressure cuff, you’ll be prompted to recalibrate the Watch Active 2 every 28 days.

Before this feature was released, I had bounced between several different wearables. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has earned its place on my wrist, given my current state of rather high blood pressure readings. It’s exciting to see more advanced data on health tracking coming to wearables, but remember that these devices are not medical devices and the data should only be used as an indicator for a medical professional to further evaluate.

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