Samsung's Galaxy Watch will soon be able to alert wearers to irregular heart rhythms

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the feature.


Samsung has revealed that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the Health Monitor app's irregular heart rhythm notification (IHGN) feature for Galaxy Watch devices. The company says that, along with the wearable's electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities, the feature can help to identify signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of arrhythmia.

AFib is widely believed to be an alarm bell for potentially major cardiovascular issues that can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications. In some cases, those with AFib are asymptomatic.

The Galaxy Watch's BioActive Sensor will look for irregular heart rhythms in the background after the wearer activates the function in the Samsung Health Monitor app. If the sensor picks up several irregular measurements consecutively, the watch will alert the wearer to possible AFib activity. The notification will suggest that the user takes an ECG reading for a more accurate measurement. If the reading detects signs of AFib, the watch will urge the wearer to consult their doctor.

Except for the original model, every Apple Watch has offered an IHGN feature in certain markets since 2019. Samsung says that availability of its IHGN feature will depend on the market, carrier, model and the paired smartphone.

Samsung will include the IHGN feature in the One UI 5 Watch update. It will first be available on the next lineup of Galaxy Watch devices, which will arrive later this year. Owners of Galaxy Watch 4 series and later models will have access to the feature at a later date. One UI 5 Watch will also introduce new sleep monitoring functions and a personalized heart rate zone feature for workouts.