Before smartwatches became the portable health labs they are today, smartphones were the ones that had some of the sensors and algorithms needed to check someone’s health. Samsung phones, in particular, have had heart rate monitors and even blood oxygen monitoring that have been removed in their latest models. This, however, does not mean that Samsung gave up on this idea and apparently was playing around with the possibility of placing these health sensors under the screen of a folding phone.
In addition to motion sensors and gyroscopes, most of the health tracking features of smartwatches and some smartphones revolve around the brightness of the light on our fingers and the deduction of biometric data based on the way or the time it takes for the light to return to the sensor. Apparently, that same principle is also at stake in Samsung’s new patent, except that it places the sensor under the screen, much like the fingerprint sensors under the screen today.
According to LetsGoDigital, two sensors under the display will take the image data from your fingers. Next, he will use pulse wave analysis or PWA, the same technique he uses on the Galaxy Watch 3 to measure blood pressure, to measure different health factors. This includes blood pressure, vascular age and stiffness of the aforementioned arterial wall.
Although PWA can probably run on any smartphone, this patent requires a foldable phone for a specific purpose. Apparently, closing the screen with a finger will allow you to better measure the pressure that your finger is putting on the screen for other health metrics. Fortunately, this will not damage the screen when applying too much pressure.
As interesting as it may seem, it is definitely a complicated technology that may not even see the light of day, at least not yet. Samsung still has a lot of things to check on its Galaxy Fold to-do list before it can get into more experimental features, not to mention checking the validity of the medical data that these sensors will provide.