All the information you need to know about the Galaxy Watch Active's blood pressure feature

In the early part of this week, Samsung made the formal announcement of its Galaxy Watch Active. The watch has a number of impressive technical specifications, but the aspect that really grabs people’s attention is its capacity to measure blood pressure.

It should be noted that this is not the first smartwatch that is capable of doing this. At the beginning of this year, the Japanese company Omron, which specializes in medical technology, presented the HeartGuide. This is the first sphygmomanometer of its kind to be the size of a watch, and it gives readings that are just as accurate as those from models that go on the upper arm.

In order to take readings of the wearer’s blood pressure, the HeartGuide watch band inflates into a cuff that is integrated into the band itself. It would appear that Omron has submitted more than 80 new patent applications in order to develop the item, the majority of which concern the reduction in size of individual components.

That is all well and good, but we are still waiting for the first device that will be able to do this accurately using optical sensors. Until then, we will just have to be satisfied with the status quo. However, there is a great deal of commotion in this region. Two new businesses, LifeLeaf and Aktiia, are competing to be the first to bring this kind of product to market.

On the other hand, it’s possible that Samsung got there first. There is a beta version of a blood pressure monitoring capability available on the Galaxy Watch Active. On March 15, it will start working in five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Australia, and Germany.

However, monitoring of blood pressure is not something that is included in either the watch or the smartphone app that goes with it. Instead, it will come from a research app that users can choose to install. This app was made in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco.

Those who own a Samsung S9, S9+, or Note9 do not have to wait until March 15 to get the update. They are able to install the app at the same moment. It goes by the name My BP Lab and may be downloaded from Google Play. The feedback from other users makes it quite evident that everything is still in the testing phase. At the time of this writing, the app on Google Play has only received 2.7 out of a potential 5.0 stars in ratings.

On Google Play, you can find the My BP Lab app.

When used with these types of devices, the function collects data from the optical sensor (camera) that is located on the rear of the phone. According to My BP Lab, the time required to complete the blood pressure measurements ranges from 20 to 30 seconds. Users are instructed to completely cover the sensor with their index finger at all times. The application shows a circular progress tracker, and when it is finished, it will display a notification that the task has been finished.

To begin, you will need to calibrate the device by first obtaining a reading from a conventional blood pressure monitor. After that, you can move on to the rest of the steps. The reason for this is that the sensor algorithm requires a single initial baseline value.

On Google Play, you can find the My BP Lab app.

There is currently no information on the My BP Lab page, and Samsung did not provide any additional details regarding how this feature will operate on the Galaxy Watch Active. We are aware that the watch contains a barometer, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a heart rate sensor. It is highly likely that the algorithms will make use of the readings that are generated by the heart rate sensor. We won’t have any solid evidence until the next month.

Regarding this particular aspect, it will be fascinating to observe how the watch works. It’s possible that the Galaxy Watch Active will be the device that launches a revolution in optical blood pressure measurement if it turns out to be accurate.

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