Samsung advances in the world of healthtech with recent clearance for their new ECG tracking app. This sees the tech giant branch out further into the world of digital health and it brings another layer to what health capabilities their smartwatch can provide to consumers.
Currently, the smartwatch industry is dominated by Apple. This has been the case since the launch of the health app which we reported back in 2018. Samsung smartwatch has lagged in innovative health features, but this new ECG tracking app could change the game.
The current plans for Samsung’’s Watch3 looks to feature the new ECG tracking app, plus sensors to measure blood oxygen saturation and blood pressure readings. Samsung announced last year that the new watch would have blood pressure measuring, and this year it is the ECG app which is grabbing headlines.
Apple was the first tech giant to really make it a priority to redefine the healthcare consumer experience. They did this with the Health app and the interconnected ecosystem they had in place. Apple made their devices smarter and used the app as a dashboard for users to track their personal health. Samsung has clearly seen how this has been received and have doubled down on investment.
Corporate SVP and Head of Health Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics TayJong Jay Yang spoke to the press about what this breakthrough means:
“When you pair the advanced hardware of Galaxy watches with innovative software solutions, you can create unmatched experiences – such as in this case, convenient and accessible health check-ins for millions of users across the world. This marks just one way in which Samsung is pioneering to give everyone a simple, convenient and informed picture of their overall health and wellness.”
The tech behind this new ECG tracking app is certainly fascinating. Users will need do little more than sit comfortably and place their finger on the watch screen, then wait 30 seconds. The app then measures the user’s heart rate and rhythm to find out if they are normal (Sinus) or unusual (AFib).
AFib is the most common abnormal rhythm which affects more than 30 million people every year. If left untreated, patients risk blood clots, heart failure and strokes, and early diagnosis is essential to managing the condition and improving a patient’s quality of life. Between the blood pressure gauge and the ECG check, Samsung users will certainly have a clearer picture of their cardiovascular health.
Something which this new ECG tracking app will certainly bring for Samsung is the opportunity of business partnerships across the healthcare sector. We have seen Apple do this with Johnson & Johnson and there is no reason why Samsung couldn’t do the same. Samsung will not only need these partnerships for financial purposes, but also for greater visibility in the healthcare industry.
This year has seen an enormous increase in consumer awareness around their health, as well as use of wearables for health reasons. This news has come at a perfect time for the tech giant as demand for health products has risen sharply. In fact we previously reviewed the Omron HeartGuide smartwatch, as well as 7 of the best heart monitor products just last month due to a sharp increase in interest among our own readers to manage their health during the shutdown.
A recent survey by Mojo Vision found that 60% first time wearable users in the US did so because of the pandemic. A further 76% of those people stated that they would continue using this type of tech once the pandemic is over.
If Samsung plays its cards right then they can certainly look to use this increase in demand and interest, to gain market share in the consumer health tech market. Apple currently owns around 55% of the wearables market, which Samsung could certainly make a dent in.
Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, it was very clear that the consumer base was becoming far more health conscious than ever before. Sectors such as gym clothing, health supplements and even gym subscriptions have risen greatly in recent years. It was only a matter of time until these two tech giants would compete in the new consumer health battlefield.
With this approval of their new ECG tracking app for Samsung’s S health, the company has certainly closed the gap with and Apple. Once again however, we are watching Samsung play catch up rather than getting ahead of the curve, something they will have to look to amend as they push forward with more intuitive and useful health apps.