South Korean Galaxy Watch Active 2 units finally get the firmware update that turns ECGs on
Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch Active 2 with high hopes of its challenging the Apple Watch series with next-gen heart health-monitoring features such as ECG-tracking. However, the OEM apparently failed to account for regulatory roadblocks that would delay this function's activation for months on end. In fact, it only secured approval for the technology's use in South Korea in May 2020.
Now, - nearly 3 months after that, and 12 months after the wearable's launch - Samsung has reportedly issued the firmware update necessary to implement its ECG sensor in the same market. It requires that the user download and open the OEM's Health Monitor app on the Watch Active 2 and on a paired smartphone in order to visualize this data.
The ECG section of this app may also detect and report on the onset of atrial fibrillation, which is apparently based on spikes in the user's heart rate. Otherwise, under normal conditions, it will report the graph as a cardiac sinus rhythm.
Despite this more or less applicable medical terminology, Samsung advises that this data and its analysis is not necessarily of a clinical grade, and thus should not be taken as such. Nevertheless, it may be useful in day-to-day life, and perhaps to take along to the doctor on regular check-ups.
The newly-launched Galaxy Watch3 is also slated to ship with this function out of the box in South Korea only. This device went on sale yesterday (August 6, 2020) and starts for the equivalent of US$399.