Samsung has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the irregular heart rhythm notification (IHGN) feature in the Health Monitor app for Galaxy Watch devices, notifies Engadget.

Irregular heart rhythm notification (IHGN) is a feature that helps users monitor their heart rhythm and detect abnormalities that could be a sign of potential heart disease.

Combined with electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities, IHGN can detect signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of arrhythmia. It is considered an indicator of potential serious cardiovascular problems that can lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and other complications. In some cases, atrial fibrillation is asymptomatic in people.

After activating the function in the Samsung Health Monitor application, the bioactive sensor of the Galaxy Watch will look for irregular heart rhythms in the background. If the sensor detects several irregular readings in a row, the watch will alert the user of possible atrial fibrillation activity. The notification will prompt the user to take an ECG for a more accurate measurement. If the reading shows signs of atrial fibrillation, the watch will prompt the user to consult a doctor.

Since 2019, every Apple Watch model except the first has had the IHGN feature in certain markets. Samsung said that the availability of the IHGN feature will depend on the market, mobile operator, model, and connected smartphone.

Samsung will include the IHGN feature in the One UI 5 Watch update. Initially, it will be available in the next line of Galaxy Watch devices, which will appear later this year. Owners of the Galaxy Watch 4 series and later models will get access to this feature at a later date. One UI 5 Watch will also introduce new sleep monitoring features and a personalized heart rate zone for workouts.