LG receives FDA clearance, likely for a mobile health app

By Jonah Comstock
09:15 am
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VS985-healthSouth Korean technology company LG Electronics has received an FDA 510(k) clearance for something called "LG Smarthealth". The move indicates that LG might be playing catch-up with electronics competitor Samsung, which received a similar clearance for its S Health app last year.

While there is no reference to LG Smarthealth on the company's website, several of LG's G3 smartphones do sport LG Health, a tracking app that's been available since at least July. According to AndroidCentral, the app tracks activities including walking, running, cycling and inline skating, maps routes, tracks calories, and allows users to set calorie or activity goals.

None of that usually requires FDA clearance -- in fact LG's website appends the standard "This app is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or medical condition" disclaimer to its description of LG Health. So the step of securing FDA clearance (if the clearance is, in fact, connected to the app) suggests that a future update might bring LG Health more into the medical space. 

Additionally, the clearance was classified under "Transmitters And Receivers, Physiological Signal, Radiofrequency", a common category for mobile health offerings, and was listed under the cardiovascular medical specialty, suggesting the device or app has something to do with heart rate tracking.

LG's recently released wearable device, the LifeBand Touch, does not do heart rate tracking, but it does integrate with heart rate tracking headphones, which use technology licensed by LG from Valencell, as well as with non-earbud heart rate monitors from Wahoo, Polar, and Zephyr.

When Samsung received clearance for S Health in January, we predicted that clearance would pave the way for connectivity with more medical devices, including glucometers. However, in the meantime, Samsung has shifted its focus to its Samsung Digital Health Platform, its answer to Apple's HealthKit announced earlier this month. Wider integration with health devices hasn't yet emerged -- although the platform did notably add heart rate tracking for stress in May.

LG also works with Independa, a San Diego-based developer of telehealth products for senior care and aging in place, to make Independa's CloudCare suite available on LG televisions. Smarthealth could very well be a platform that extends to connected TVs too.

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