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Your Samsung smartwatch will soon get a lifesaving health feature

Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Smartwatches have been a helpful tool for people to track of their health. Now, Samsung’s Galaxy Watches will be adding an important, potentially lifesaving feature later this year. According to Samsung, Galaxy Watches will soon be adding an Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification (IHRN) feature that will help watch wearers better understand their heart health.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm that the American Heart Association estimates will affect more than 12 million people worldwide by 2030. IHRN looks to help notify Galaxy Watch wearers if their watch detects heartbeat rhythms suggestive of AFib.

While smartwatches shouldn’t be used as official medical devices, getting a notification that your Galaxy Watch detected a potential heart problem could be a reason to set up a visit with a doctor, which may be potentially save your life, depending on how serious of an issue the watch detected. In fact, there have already been plenty of cases where smartwatches have saved lives and helped with things like official AFib diagnoses, thanks to their health detection features.

The Galaxy Watch 5, showing the health tracking widget.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Galaxy Watches already offer a plethora of great health-monitoring features. However, the addition of IHRN will keep users far more informed about their cardiovascular health. Because heart problems can often be relatively asymptomatic, smartwatches that have heart-monitoring features are a great way to help catch potential cardiovascular issues earlier and potentially save lives.

Unfortunately, IHRN isn’t available yet, but it will be coming to Galaxy Watches later this summer with the launch of Samsung’s One UI 5 Watch software update. Take note that IHRN will be available in 13 countries at launch: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, China, Indonesia, Panama, United Arab Emirates, the U.S., and South Korea. Samsung says that it will be launching IHRN on older devices that won’t run One UI 5 Watch “later this year” after it launches for newer models — like the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro — in the summer

As smartwatches continue to grow more popular, it’s nice to see additional innovation that puts the health monitoring that smartwatches do to even better use. Hopefully, this trend continues, and we see even more exciting health-related features coming to new models like the Galaxy Watch 6 later this year.

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Peter Hunt Szpytek
A podcast host and journalist, Peter covers mobile news with Digital Trends and gaming news, reviews, and guides for sites…
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