It is expected that the competition between Samsung Electronics and Apple regarding healthcare smartwatch dominance is set to go off on full-scale.
They are expected to compete not just globally but also domestically.
They will go through mandatory approval procedures from South Korean regulatory authorities related to medical devices and introduce relevant applications and services in the second half.
It is expected the competition will grow the global smartwatch market and a catalyst to the expansion of the wearable-based convergence healthcare ecosystem.
Samsung Electronics will launch “Samsung Health Monitor” app that provides an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring feature in the third quarter. Galaxy Watch Active 2 that was introduced last year and its new smartwatch that is expected to be made public in the second half will provide such feature. It is heard that the application will provide health management features that are more advanced than just a simple heart rate monitoring feature.
It is heard that Apple will also finish up follow-up approval processes regarding its Apple Watch in South Korea according to the launching of Samsung Electronics’ app and service. As it provides its service globally, its feature will be available in South Korea immediately as soon as it is able to resolve regulatory issues.
ECG amplifies electrical signals in one’s heart and records the waveform and it is used to detect dangerous signs of heart diseases.
While the process was very inconvenient in the past as one had to personally visit a hospital and have a separate medical device attached for 24 hours, Apple made the process more convenience in 2018 through its Apple Watch.
Samsung Electronics received approvals for ECG feature and blood pressure measuring app. It is expected to provide well-organized health management data by measuring one’s heartbeat and analyzing ECG and blood pressure.
Current controversy surrounding telemedicine will be the key for Samsung Electronics. Samsung Electronics drew the line to a possibility of application of telemedicine by stating that it removed a feature that sends data to doctors in real time. However, its app users can send data as a PDF file to their respective doctors.
It is expected that Samsung Electronics will pursue wearable-based telemedicine market in major countries where telemedicine is allowed.
There are growing expectations towards third-party healthcare app services that utilize data collected through Galaxy Watches and Apple Watches.
Relevant services such as financial and insurance services that are based on healthcare data from wearables are also expected to grow.
Meanwhile, Apple obtained a certificate of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) of Medical Devices for “biological phenomenon measuring device” from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
Although it did not state product or feature in detail, it can be presumed that the certificate is related to ECG measuring feature that will be included in its Apple Watch.
However, because a certificate of GMP of Medical Devices is just one of many evaluations needed to receive an approval to sell a medical device in South Korea, one needs to obtain other approvals in order to sell its medical device in South Korea.
Regarding a certificate of GMP that Apple obtained, a representative for the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety stated that it cannot confirm any application or approval of an item from a particular company.
Staff Reporter Park, Jungeun | firstname.lastname@example.org & Staff Reporter Jung, Hyeonjung | email@example.com