FDA Approves Samsung’s Sleep Apnea Feature on Galaxy Watch

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a sleep apnea detection function on Galaxy Watch devices, according to Samsung. The US is the first to endorse this technology, following South Korea’s earlier permission for its utilization in their country. Samsung intends to incorporate the sleep apnea surveillance tool into suitable Galaxy Watch gadgets in the third quarter of this year, accessible through the Samsung Health Monitor app.

The tool enables individuals aged 22 or above, who have not been diagnosed with the disorder, to look for indications of sleep apnea using their smartwatch and phone. It searches for symptoms of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) over a two-night observation period. To utilize this feature, users must monitor their sleep for more than four hours twice within ten days.

About 25 percent of men and one-tenth of women in the US are affected by OSA, a prevalent and enduring condition, per the National Sleep Foundation. Sufferers often stop breathing while they’re sleeping, causing a decrease in sleep quality, disrupted oxygen supply, and increased daytime fatigue. If not addressed, sleep apnea can enhance the risk of cardiovascular ailments including hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, and stroke. Samsung states that with this feature, more individuals could detect moderate and severe forms of the disorder and seek medical consultation early.

This tool, being part of Samsung’s initiatives to help customers achieve quality sleep, has emerged in several devices internationally. In 2020, Withings introduced a sleep apnea detection function to its sleep tracking mat.