Samsung adds another big weapon to the Galaxy Watch Active 2 health monitoring arsenal
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been undeniably one of the greatest Apple Watch alternatives on the market ever since it made its commercial debut last fall, but to its credit, Samsung continuously improved the already impressive features and capabilities of the Tizen-powered smartwatch with several software updates.
Unfortunately, two of the major health monitoring tools marketed as key selling points right off the bat have never actually been enabled, and alas, the company still doesn't seem prepared to commit to a release timeline for the Apple Watch-rivaling ECG and fall detection technologies.
On the bright side, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 will soon be able to "easily and more conveniently measure and track your blood pressure." Technically, this is not an entirely new feature for Samsung smartwatches, but what's new is the official Samsung Health Monitor app, which has been cleared by South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety as a "Software as a Medical Device."
Previously, you had to rely on a tool called My BP Lab 2.0 for blood pressure readings, which were not very accurate, simply allowing you to take part in a research program aimed at someday making the app reliable from a medical perspective. Naturally, that's where Samsung Health Monitor comes in, but just because the app has been authorized by the Korean government to conduct scientific measurements, that doesn't necessarily mean FDA clearance for US use is right around the corner.
Even in Korea, the feature is not 100 percent ready for primetime yet, heading for the Galaxy Watch Active 2 "within the third quarter" and "progressively expanding to upcoming Galaxy Watch devices" shortly thereafter.
Another very important thing to keep in mind is that the app also needs some third-party hardware in addition to the heart rate monitoring sensors of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 to deliver "convenient" and accurate blood pressure readings. We're talking about a traditional cuff, which you'll have to use for the initial calibration process as shown in the video demo above and at least once every four weeks after that.