This Apple Watch life-saving feature is finally coming to Samsung smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch AFib notifications.
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has confirmed that it is bringing a potentially life-saving feature to its Galaxy Watch wearables, including a new model that will launch later in 2023.

Samsung says that the Heart Rhythm Notification (IHRN) feature "detects heart rhythms suggestive of atrial fibrillation (AFib), helping Galaxy Watch users understand their heart health more comprehensively."

If that sounds familiar it's because the Apple Watch has supported this specific feature for years, and it's already been proven to help save lies. Now, more people than ever will hopefully get the medical help they need as a result of this new feature. 

13 markets

Samsung announced the new feature via a press release, adding that it will be available in 13 markets after receiving clearance from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety last week. The 13 countries that will have the IHRN feature include Argentina, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Panama, UAE, as well as Korea and the U.S.

The new feature will be available "on the upcoming Galaxy Watch devices later this year," Samsung says, while owners of older models can expect to see the same feature arrive at some point. No firm timescales were shared, but we do know that you'll need a Galaxy Watch 4 or newer in order to get the feature.

AFib notifications are available on the Apple Watch Series 1 or later for those who are 13 or older. That means that you don't have to rush out and buy the best Apple Watch that Apple makes to be able to make use of a feature that could potentially save your life. We can expect the Apple Watch Series 9 to pack the same feature once it is announced later this year — the same can be said for any upgraded Apple Watch Ultra or Apple Watch SE that we might also see ship around the same time.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.