Samsung, in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has now announced the launch of a new Android app, My BP Lab. The app is due to become available to download through the Google Play Store on March 15 and is primarily designed as a tool to help users monitor their blood pressure and stress.
The date of the app's release falls directly in line with when the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are due to become generally available and this is not a coincidence. As the announcement on the new app states the app works by taking advantage of a new sensor included on the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Therefore, the suggestion is this app will only work with the new Galaxy phones. In either case, those who do pick up either of the new Galaxy S9 phones will be able to take advantage of "richer, more accurate information about their health status." As the sensor on the two phones is the primary hardware element in use here, blood pressure levels and measurements are able to be taken without the need for any additional devices or hardware.
With the UCSF on board, the announcement does also explain that users will be offered the opportunity to take part in a study. This research exercise will require the user to take blood pressure levels routinely and also provide some additional qualitative data through the provision of sleep, exercise, and diet information. The purpose of the study is twofold. On one hand the study will be used to further improve the app in general, including improving the accuracy of blood pressure readings. The second main goal will be to provide participants with even greater "personalized, on-demand information" with a view to improving those levels, as well as their health in general. As this is a research study there are some restrictions on who can take part. Namely, participants will need to be a minimum of eighteen years of age, and will need to be based in the US. These requirements do not seem to be in place for general use of the app.