Samsung smartwatches get clearance for ECG – but you will still have to wait

Afib detection is South Korea
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Samsung has finally been given clearance for its ECG sensor, taking it a step further to getting serious health credentials – but only in South Korea for now.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 has had an ECG sensor inside since its launch in September 2019, but it’s not been used.

But now it’s received clearance in South Korea to allow Galaxy Watch Active 2 users to take ECG readings from the wrist.

The technology works much like the ECG monitor on the Apple Watch Series 5, with a touch-sensitive button doubling as a sensor. You need to place your finger on the sensor for 30 seconds, after which the Active 2 will measure your heart rate and rhythm, and classify it as Sinus Rhythm (normal) or AFib – which is an irregular heart rate.

Budget tracker: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 fitness tracker review

Samsung says that abnormal heart rhythm affects around 33 million people worldwide, and increases the risk of blood clots, heart failure and stroke.

It comes after South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety cleared Samsung devices to use the blood pressure sensor – so if you live in Samsung’s home nation, you’ll have a pretty advanced set of heart monitoring features to take advantage of.

Like the blood pressure feature, it will likely launch in Q3 2020 – and will be found on newer Samsung devices too. We’re expecting either a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3 or Galaxy Watch 2 to land in Q3, via the Samsung Health Monitor app.

But for most, the burning question is if/when it will see life outside of South Korea.

That will depends on each country giving these features medical clearance. In Europe we’ve seen ECG on Apple Watch and Withings devices. But in the US, it’s been tougher for non-US companies to get the technology cleared.

So it’s impossible to say when features like ECG and blood pressure will land on Samsung devices. Watch this space.

TAGGED Samsung

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

Related stories