Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is getting this life-saving Apple Watch feature

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

The rumored Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is set to feature an upgrade that could put it on par with the Apple Watch when it comes to potential life-saving features. 

That’s because the company has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification (IHRN) feature that’ll be added into the Samsung Health Monitor app. 

This new feature will be added to Galaxy smartwatches via the One UI 5 Watch update, which Samsung said is  “coming first to the upcoming Galaxy Watch devices later this year, and later expanding to previous editions.” So expect the Galaxy Watch 6, which is tipped for a summer release, to have IHRN fist, followed by the Galaxy Watch 5 and then older Watch models at a later date. 

As the name suggests, IHRN aims to detect irregular heart rhythms in conjunction with the Galaxy Watch’s electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities, in order to notify wearers of potential heart problems such as atrial fibrillation; such things can increase the likelihood of stokes and heart failure. Early warnings of such heart problems could be the difference between life and death in some cases. 

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with the Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification (IHRN) feature

(Image credit: Samsung)

In action, IHRN will notify users when it detects consecutive irregular heart rhythms, which should prompt the Galaxy Watch wearers to take an ECG test to get a more accurate measurement, as well as seek advice from a doctor.

IHRN features are nothing new in the world of smartwatches, having been in Apple Watch models since the Series 4, which brought in the ECG function and have even been touted as having saved lives. And IHRN is avoidable on the Google Pixel Watch via the Fitbit app.

Adding IHRN to the Galaxy Watch range makes it more competitive with rival smartwatches, something that needed given the surge in popularity of the Pixel Watch, which features on our best smartwatches list.

While Samsung makes some very good smartwatches, when it comes to health monitoring and other safety features, it arguably lags behind the likes of Apple. So it’s no surprise that One UI 5 Watch is set to bring in features like personalized heart rate zones, refined sleep tacking and improved SOS emergency functions; areas that the Apple Watch has made headway in.

Here’s hoping the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 has the health and wellness features to snap at the heels of the Apple Watch Series 8.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.