South Korea's health agency said Thursday it will review a fitness feature on the latest smartphone by Samsung Electronics Co. to decide whether to designate the device as a medical equipment.
Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone, introduced Monday, is the first in the industry to come with a built-in heart rate sensor. It can also be connected to smartwatches to monitor heart rate during exercises.
South Korean law stipulates that medical devices, defined as equipment used to diagnose, treat or prevent diseases, must be approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety before being sold in the market.
According to a ministry official, however, Samsung would be able to launch the smartphones as scheduled. "Even if it is designated as a medical device, the procedure for testing its safety and functions is not complicated," he said.
Samsung is set to officially release the Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear Fit smartwatch on April 11 in 150 countries.
The Galaxy S5, introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, comes with a 5.1-inch display with a 16-megapixel camera and an improved battery of 2,800 mAh. (Yonhap)