Samsung has been working on adding blood pressure measurements to its wearables for a while. It launched a limited test of that feature for the original Watch Active back in 2019, and now, about a year later, the company has announced that the South Korean government has authorized its brand-new Health Monitor app. It's capable of taking blood pressure with nothing but the Watch Active2 (plus some calibration help from a traditional cuff) and will be available in the country in the third quarter of 2020.
In contrast to rather simple pulse measurements, accurate blood pressure readings are harder to pull off. To make results as precise as possible, you'll first need to calibrate your watch with a traditional cuff three times. With that information at hand, the watch can read blood pressure through pulse wave analysis, tracked via its heart rate sensor. The cuff calibration has to be repeated at least every four weeks to ensure accuracy.
While the app won't let you forgo a cuff altogether, it will make life much easier for people who depend on continuous measurements. You shouldn't change your medication based on the watch's readings, but it might help you get a clearer picture while you're out and about thanks to Health Monitor's built-in graphs and statistics.
Samsung says the Health Monitor app will be available for the Galaxy Watch Active2 in Korea in the third quarter and come to other Galaxy Watches later.