Samsung Galaxy Watches will be getting a sleep upgrade, as the company gets an official go-ahead from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for the a first-of-its-kind sleep apnea tracker.
The sleep apnea health feature, available this summer, enables users who haven’t yet been diagnosed with what is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to track their sleep and detect warning signs. Users will need a compatible phone and a Galaxy watch, which has to be worn for two sleep periods that last more than four hours, within a ten-day period. The feature is designed for adult users over the age of 22.
“According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), roughly 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women in the U.S. experience OSA. The new feature on the Samsung Health Monitor app is expected to help more people proactively detect moderate or severe forms of OSA, and as a result of the detection seek medical care to reduce the possibility of health-related complications,” Samsung wrote in a press release.
While Samsung is the first tech company to snag a U.S. market FDA approval of this kind, others are expected to follow suit. Apple Watches are rumored to be getting a similar upgrade this year, with the company reportedly adding sleep apnea detection to its wearable devices on top of proposed blood pressure and diabetes monitoring tools.
And other fitness watches, including Fitbits, can already detect and monitor breathing patterns during the night, which may help someone seeking a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Samsung’s sleep apnea tracker will be housed under the device-wide Samsung Health app, which already allows users to track their sleeping habits, including detecting snoring, monitoring oxygen saturation during sleep, and assigning device wearers a sleep score based on the duration of sleep phases and any movements while they are asleep.
“Samsung recognizes the foundational role that sleep serves in people’s health and well-being by focusing on three key elements for better sleep: understanding sleep patterns, building better habits and creating a sleep-friendly environment,” the company explained. “With the sleep apnea feature, Samsung is taking the next step in its ongoing commitment to provide Galaxy users with the best possible sleep tools to improve their sleep health habits.”