The company says that along with its electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities, the feature can help detect signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heartbeat. AFib is widely considered a red flag for cardiovascular problems that can lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and other complications. In some cases, people with atrial fibrillation are asymptomatic.
The Galaxy Watch’s vital activity sensor will check for arrhythmias in the background after the user activates the feature in the Samsung Health Monitor app. If the sensor detects enough irregular readings in a row, the watch will alert the wearer to possible AFib activity. The notification will suggest the user to take an ECG measurement for a more accurate measurement. If the measurement detects signs of AFib, the watch will prompt the wearer to consult a physician immediately.
Regardless of the original model, every Apple Watch offers the IHGN function in some markets as of 2019. Samsung says the availability of the IHGN function will depend on the market, carrier, model, and connected smartphone.
Samsung will include the IHGN feature in the One UI 5 Watch update. This is expected to be available for the first time on the next generation Galaxy Watch which will be introduced in the summer and possibly in August. Owners of the Galaxy Watch 4 series and later models will be able to access the feature at a later date that has not been set yet. The One UI 5 Watch will also introduce new features for sleep tracking and heart rate zone mode for workouts.
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