Samsung has beaten the Apple Watch to a vital health-centric smartwatch tech feature, as it receives approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for offering sleep apnea detection in its Galaxy Watch and Samsung phone combo in the US.
Other nations are still waiting for the feature to be approved.
The sleep apnea feature in the Samsung Health Monitor app, available for users over the age of 22, is scheduled to launch between July and September.
It allows for signs of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea to be detected over a two-night monitoring period.
Users need to track their sleep twice for more than four hours within a ten-day period.
It is assumed that the Galaxy Watch6 series will support the feature, as the Watch6 and Watch5 families in Korea have been approved by the relevant authorities.
The availability of the feature will vary by market, as well as by the model number of the smartwatches.
A common and chronic sleep condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated, sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing while sleeping and can result in their oxygen supply being disrupted. If untreated, it can lead to the risk of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias and strokes.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, around 25% of men and 10% of women in the US experience this condition.
Samsung’s new feature can assist more people to become aware of sleep apnea, and to seek medical care if needed.