Modern smartwatches can handle full-fledged medical devices, claims a new study published in the Sleep Health Diary. The researchers focused on the SpO2 capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and compared them to medical-grade equipment when measuring obstructive sleep apnea.
According to the results, the Galaxy Watch 4 meets FDA and ISO standards, and the researchers wrote in the paper that “The GW4 had an overall RMSE (root mean squared error) of 2.3% and a negligible bias of -0.2%. A Bland-Altman density plot showed good agreement between the GW4 and the reference pulse oximeter.
In layman’s terms, the measurements taken with the Galaxy Watch 4 were very close to the reference medical device the researchers were using.
Ninety-seven adults with sleep disorders participated in the study, and seven medical professionals conducted the tests. Another key finding was that wearing the Galaxy Watch 4 tightly above the wrist bone improved the accuracy of SpO2 measurements.
The Galaxy Watch 4 used in the study
Take these results with a healthy grain of salt, but there’s no reason not to use your Galaxy Watch (or any other similar device) to get a reference point for your blood oxygen levels, especially during sleep. Sleep apnea is a common condition, affecting between 9 and 38% of the population, and a correct diagnosis can save you a lot of trouble.