The Heart Rate Sensor, featured in the new Samsung (KRX:005935) Galaxy S5, could pave the way for the handset to be designated as “medical equipment” in South Korea, according to a new report.

The new fitness feature in the latest Samsung flagship smartphone will be reviewed by South Korea's health agency in order to determine whether the handset can be used by physicians as medical equipment, Yonhap News reported, adding that the country’s law stipulates that medical devices that are used to diagnose, treat or prevent diseases, must be approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety before being sold in the market. However, according to a ministry official, Samsung would be able to launch the Galaxy S5 in the country as scheduled, regardless of the review’s results.

“Even if it is designated as a medical device, the procedure for testing its safety and functions is not complicated,” the official said.

Galaxy-S5-heartratesensor Samsung Galaxy S5, Heart Rate Sensor. Photo: Samsung

The Heart Rate Sensor in the Galaxy S5 is one of the stand out features of the new smartphone. The sensor is located in the back of the smartphone, next to the camera’s LED flash and can detect blood flow beneath the skin. Users have to place their finger on this sensor for it to detect their heart rate.

To use the feature, users are required to launch the S Health 3.0, a fitness-oriented app that “provides a comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help users monitor and manage their behavior, along with additional tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a new, built-in heart rate monitor.”

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available starting April 11 in 150 countries in four different colors -- “Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Electric Blue and Copper Gold.” The handset features a 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and is powered by a 2.5GHz Quad core application processor.

Click here for more details on Galaxy S5 specs.