First it was steps, then heart rate, last year we started getting wearable devices with the ability to perform a medically certified ECG. Today, Samsung announces their Galaxy Watch is launching with the additional feature of Blood Pressure Monitoring.
In a first on a wearable in Australia, Blood Pressure monitoring could be a game changer in the treatment and monitoring of heart disease. Given high blood-pressure affects one in three adults in Australia this is a remarkable bit of technology.
Of course, none of this replaces the medical advice and monitoring your doctor offers, but imagine a time where your doctor has questions about your blood pressure, and you’re able to come back to them with readings between appointments for them to analyse.
The new feature, along with ECG which received TGA approval earlier as we’ve reported, will debut on the Galaxy Watch 4 from September 10.
Blood Pressure Monitoring occurs within the Samsung Health Monitor App, and isn’t quite as simple as the ECG function. First, you must calibrate your blood pressure reading with a traditional arm cuff. You know the one, it fills with air, squeezes your arm then spits out a reading.
Critically, it also needs to be re-calibrated once a month. That means the device is really aimed at those people who have a Blood pressure monitor already at home or make regular visits to the doctor for these readings. The hope being the data obtained between traditional readings might add value to the analysis by a medical professional.
Mark Hodgson from Samsung Australia says “We know that Australians want access to the very best in health technology to not only allow them to keep track of their fitness goals, but critically, to be aware of their general health and wellbeing.
“We believe our Galaxy Watch and Samsung Health Monitor App offer a comprehensive and importantly, an accessible solution to help millions of Australians to help them improve and maintain their general health and wellbeing.”
The fine print of this announcement is important, noting that the “Blood pressure feature only to be used by adults 22 years and older. Intended for general wellness and fitness purposes only. Not intended for use in detection, monitoring, diagnosis, treatment of any medical condition or disease. The measurements are for your personal reference only. Please consult a medical professional for advice. “
You will need to be inside the Samsung ecosystem for this to work, as the Health app only works on Galaxy Smartphones, but the good news is these features are retrospective, launching first on the new Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic on September 10, with the Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2 launching soon after.
UPDATED 10am – the earlier version of this article stated that the Galaxy Watch had TGA Approval for the Blood Pressure monitoring – this is not the case, as it is not being marketed as a medical device.