Image source: Samsung

Samsung update out now, expands blood pressure & ECG to more countries

A new update is rolling out now to Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 users in 31 countries. It finally allows them to measure blood pressure and ECG via the Samsung Health Monitor app. Up to now this was only available in South Korea.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The tech giant received that it has received the CE-marking in December 2020. This enables it to expand the list of countries to include lots of European countries including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Those living in Chile, Indonesia, and the UAE will also get to benefit. Together with South Korea that makes a total of 31 countries.

This comes on the heals of an experimental blood pressure monitoring feature and My BP Lab 2.0 software. This ran in a few countries at the start of 2020.

Blood pressure measurements

In order to take measurements, users will need to calibrate the readings from the watch with a traditional blood pressure monitor. Samsung says this should be done initially, and at least once a month afterwards. So the readings are an approximation of how a real blood pressure monitor works. Taking a measurement takes less than 30 seconds to complete and it is done by using the optical heart-rate sensor.

Simply tap the measure option in the Health Monitor app to take an on-demand reading. There is no option to enable this to take measurements automatically.

Your readings will sync to the Galaxy smartphone version of the software. This will provide detailed results and ability to track blood pressure by days, weeks and months. The app will therefore need to be installed both on the watch and your phone.

There are other less known manufacturers which claim to have smartwatches with the ability to take blood pressure measurements, but this is the first big brand to be doing this. Samsung is also the first to receive regulatory approval for the functionality which would suggest users can expect reasonably accurate readings. So this is kind of a big deal.

Eventually, most watches in the Galaxy Watch range will be able to take blood pressure measurements. Samsung is starting off, though, with Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 which have its latest optical heart-rate sensor built in.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring

ECG measurements are taken via the same app.Which means there’s no need to do a separate installation.

To use simply rotate the bezel to find the ECG widget. Educate yourself on what this does and read all the safety warnings.

Make sure you are in a comfortable position and ensure the watch is snug against your wrist. Rest your forearm on a table and rest a fingertip of the opposite hand on the top button for 30 seconds. Remain still during the recording.

Measurements will show your heart rate and rhythm. You’ll also get a classification whether the reading is a Sinus Rhythm (a normal, regular heartbeat) or AFib (when the heart beats irregularly).

How to update

This is big news for Samsung watch owners and a highly anticipated update. Samsung had said the Health Monitor app rollout will begin on February 4th. However, it is only during the past day that reports started coming in mass on the new version. Obviously, something had delayed things.

To update press the Power key on your watch. Once the apps screen opens go to Settings>General. Choose the Update watch software option. If an update is available it will show, tap Download.

You can also use the Galaxy Wearable app to check for and install updates on your watch. Open the Home tab in the app and select Watch software update. To download and install simply follow the instructions provided.

The update works only for those with a Galaxy smartphone with Android N OS or higher. So you do need a Samsung phone currently to access the new features. This software refresh also activates the new hand-washing app.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

4 thoughts on “Samsung update out now, expands blood pressure & ECG to more countries

  • Does not currently work in Estonia (Samsung health Monitor).

  • I’m here in U.S. Got the ecg update in Sept 2020 for my Watch Active 2. Only got three inconclusive ecg readings, then after a month, it would not take any kind of reading. Always replied “moisturize skin and try again”. Supplied my Active 2, Samsung phone model and update versions to Samsung ECG Help Team, and they replied that my device,
    “this as a non-U.S. model or a model that is not manufactured for use in the U.S.
    We are sorry to inform you that the ECG feature will not work in your device.”
    I bought the Active 2 at Costco, NJ in Nov 2019. As I said the ecg did work after the ecg update, though inconsistently.

    • Interesting. I too purchased my watch at Costco. After downloading the Samsung Health Monitor, I was able to successfully use the ECG feature, but the blood pressure feature would only take a manual input.

  • ECG+BP = SCAM! Only works through an extra application on the Galaxy Store. Doesn’t even work from the watch itself in standalone. Means if you don’t have an extra Samsung-only phone in addition to the watch you won’t have those features. SAMSUNG = CROOKS!


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