We heard a lot of praise about Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 plus’s premium camera. However, there is an interesting and magical function featured on the optical sensor which is next to the dual camera lens, blood pressure measurement. It sounds crazy to measure blood pressure by putting your finger on an electronic component. Let’s find the truth and learn how it happened.
Can Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 plus measure blood pressure?
Since the Galaxy S5, Samsung added an optical heart rate sensor at the back of its flagship smartphones. Over the years, they added new features to measure oxygen saturation and stress levels. And in this year, the newly released Galaxy S9 and S9 plus have blood pressure measurement function. Samsung entered a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to leverage the “revolutionary optical sensor” on its new flagships by engaging in a pilot study in digital health.
How can Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 plus measure blood pressure using optical sensor?
Comparing to some apps in the Play Store read your BP with the camera and illumination by the LED flash, the optical sensor works in a way more precise than them. The optical sensor collects info from your fingertip pulse between heartbeats and runs them through linear regression analysis, set by a baseline reading with a medical-grade arm cuff blood pressure monitor.
How to measure blood pressure using optical sensor?
Step 1: Install an My BP Lab app which is created by UCSF. The app allows users to monitor their blood pressure and stress levels with personalized insights to improve your daily health.
Step 2: After setting it up, it will recommend you to set baseline reading which is measured by an actual blood pressure cuff with you. If you don’t have one, you can still proceed but they will only record the differences of your blood pressure without giving its actual Systolic and Diastolic BP readings. So all you’ll get is the percentage difference which is quite pointless.
Step 3: Follow the instructions on the screen to measure your blood pressure.
However, the readings aren’t 100% accurate according to PhoneArena’s testing. They compared the readings on Galaxy S9 to a blood pressure cuff. It showed about 5 points discrepancy. After all, this optically based feature is still in its early stages. Its accuracy may be improved after more testing. Samsung might include this feature into the Samsung Health app after it becomes accurate. And it will definitely make our life more convenient.
In conclusion, you shouldn’t rely entirely on your Galaxy S9 or S9+ to log any daily BP readings required by your doctor, but for a more relaxed blood pressure tracking, or in emergencies when you don’t have the cuff around.