​Samsung rolls out ECG and blood pressure to more countries

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Samsung has rolled out its advanced health monitoring features to scores of new countries, which will be a massive boost to its smartwatch ambitions.

The ECG and blood pressure monitoring for the Galaxy Watch 3 and Active 2 had only been approved for use in South Korea and the US – but European approval has grown that list substantially.

It can be used in Iceland, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Belgium, Lithuania, Netherlands, Greece, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

These countries will receive the new feature on 4 February.

And it’s not just Europe getting the rollout. Chile, UAE and Indonesia are also on the list, and it’s also confirmed for India, Japan and China. However, there’s not a firm date on roll out here.

ECG has been a key battle ground in wearables, with Apple leading and Fitbit also getting rapid certification for its Fitbit Sense.

Blood pressure has been less widely adopted, and Samsung has a significant lead here. However, the feature does require validation against a traditional cuff every couple of weeks, so while it’s a very useful addition for hypertension sufferers, it’s unlikely to drive blood pressure detection to be the next wide consumer metric.

We have seen a move to wearable blood pressure monitoring, with the Aktiia band launching in Europe, which is able to track blood pressure from a PPG sensor without validation. It’s received CE clearance as a Grade II medical device – and could signal a push from smartwatch makers such as Fitbit and Apple to include the technology into future devices.

And we also reported this week on rumors that Samsung is looking to add non-invasive glucose tracking to its next smartwatch in 2021. That could be a Galaxy Watch 4 or Active 3 – so watch this space.

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