The Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 need to be calibrated with a traditional blood pressure monitor once a month, but Samsung is leading with this new feature.
Samsung is rolling out blood pressure monitoring for two of its smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2. The feature, which is exclusive to Samsung so far, was announced in late January, but has only recently become available. This is a huge win for Samsung, which took a long time to match Apple’s electrocardiogram (ECG) capability. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 owners will probably want to give this feature a try and a few tips will help.
Samsung has been making smartwatches since 2013, preceding Apple by two years, but the creator of the iPhone quickly outpaced the market and has led ever since. The Apple Watch further distanced itself with its announcement of the Series 4’s ability to capture ECG readings. Samsung caught up with Apple in 2020, with its FDA-cleared ECG feature and is now looking to go further with blood pressure monitoring.
The Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 are currently the only two Samsung smart watches capable of monitoring blood pressure. This is done by analyzing the pulse wave from the watch’s heart rate sensors, rather than the direct pressure measurement that can be recorded with a traditional bracelet. According to Forbes, This feature is just rolling out, so it may take some time to reach all of them. A Samsung Galaxy smartphone is required to set up the feature and record blood pressure history, but the measurement is actually done on the Galaxy Watch.
How to take blood pressure on Galaxy Watch
Galaxy Watch 3 or Galaxy Watch Active 2 owners will need to have the Samsung Health Monitor app installed on both their smartphone and their smartwatch to access this advanced feature. With the Galaxy Watch, the bezel can be rotated to find the blood pressure widget. Next, the user will need to open the Health Monitor app on their smartwatch and go to the blood pressure tab. A calibration step is required at the beginning and this process should be repeated every four weeks to ensure accuracy. This is somewhat limiting, but necessary to obtain an accurate reading. To calibrate the watch, a traditional blood pressure monitor is required and three consecutive tests must be performed by recording the diastolic and systolic pressure in the Samsung Health Monitor smartphone app. The watch and the smartphone will guide the user through the process. One final but important note is that the Galaxy Watch and the blood pressure monitor need to be placed on different arms.
After this initial setup, the smartwatch can be used to check blood pressure at any time and the measurements are stored on the paired smartphone for quick and easy health history checking. Combining ECG and blood pressure readings with all the other features of Samsung’s wearable devices creates these powerful health monitoring tools.
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