Roughly 35% of the American public has a deadly sleep condition that, if they aren’t married or partnered, could go undetected.
That condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition which can cause people to stop breathing in short bursts while they sleep. Characterized by snoring, OSA sufferers often feel tired during the day, may suffer from depression, fatigue, and brain fog, and are more at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
All of that is the reason why Samsung’s (SSNLF) newest innovation for its Galaxy watch series is such a big deal. Announced on Feb. 9, the new feature will detect signs of OSA and alert the wearer that they may want to see a doctor for a sleep apnea test.
“The sleep apnea feature will enable users over the age of 22 who have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea to detect signs of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) over a two-night monitoring period, a common and chronic sleep condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated. To utilize the feature, users will be able to simply track their sleep twice for more than four hours within a ten-day period,” the press release reads.
The new feature, which will appear within the Samsung Health Monitor app. is the first of its kind to receive De Novo authorization from the FDA. Apple also is rumored to have a similar feature in development, but has not made a formal announcement just yet.
Both Apple and Samsung have been ramping up health offerings for their smartwatches as well as Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy ring, the most recent few being the ability to detect irregular heart rhythms which could signal that a user may have AFib, a similar tracking for heart rate variability (HRV), and mood tracking.
Samsung says Galaxy users can expect the sleep apnea function to roll out in the third quarter of 2024.