Smartwatches may have finally found their place in the modern world. In addition to telling the time, distracting you with notifications, and allowing some control over your phone and your house, smartwatches are quickly becoming mini diagnostic devices. They not only keep track of your movement and activity, wearables like the Apple Watch now also keep track of the health of your heart. Following that lead, Samsung has also started rolling out more advanced health monitoring features like ECG. Unfortunately, you can only get that feature in exactly one place in the world right now.
Electrocardiogram readings used to require bulky and expensive equipment but while professional medial ones still do, Apple Watch can be credited for having commercialized that feature. Now almost every smart wearable manufacturer is trying to jump on that train but, as Samsung proves, it’s not that easy as cramming some hardware inside.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has had that ECG hardware when it launched last year but it has remained unusable until now. The reason is that Samsung needs to get approval from each and every market it wants the feature to work in and that always takes time. A year after it launched, the smartwatch has finally received approval from the South Korean government, the first and only certification it has received so far.
The feature won’t even be activated instantly, of course. Samsung will only be rolling out the update to the Health Monitor app in the third quarter to enable that feature. Once that lands, though, all that users need is to touch rest their finger on the sensor button to take a reading.
The Galaxy Active Watch 2 also just recently received clearance for its Blood Monitoring feature, something that is still extremely rare among consumer devices. That, too, is limited only to South Korea and is still waiting for the same app update to become usable.