The Samsung Galaxy Watch has been granted FDA clearance for its Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification feature, which can help detect potential atrial fibrillation, Samsung said Monday.
If you’ve got a Galaxy Watch, you will eventually be able to use the feature in the Samsung Health Monitor app to detect irregular heart rhythm, which can be a warning sign for a major cardiovascular issue like heart failure, stroke or other complications. Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, can also be asymptomatic or silent, meaning you may not be aware that something’s wrong.
The new feature will come to this year’s newest Galaxy Watches first, along with the One UI 5 Watch update. It’ll come to previous versions of the Galaxy Watch at a later time.
Samsung didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Read more: Samsung’s Next Smartwatches Will Be All About Sleep and Health Tracking
While Samsung’s feature is welcome news, it won’t be the first wearable maker to release one. Apple revealed a similar electrocardiogram feature in 2018 with the release of the Apple Watch Series 4. Experts were somewhat skeptical as to how useful A-fib detection features could be for the average Apple Watch user, aged 25 to 34, but the device’s heart rhythm monitoring has been shown to be fairly accurate. And features within the Apple Watch have saved lives.
Google’s Pixel Watch also has an A-fib detection feature within the Fitbit ECG app.
Smartwatches continue to be big business. The global smartwatch market is estimated to grow to $64 billion in 2023, according to the Business Research Company. The Apple Watch leads the market with 33.6% market share in the final quarter of 2022, according to Statista. For phone makers, having a compelling smartwatch is critical in keeping people locked into a brand’s ecosystem, according to Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart. It could be a contributing reason as to why iPhone’s iOS surpassed Google’s Android as the top mobile operating system in the US last year.