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Smart watch authorized by FDA to detect signs of sleep apnea

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A popular smart watch manufacturer announced that its sleep apnea detection feature has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sleep Apnea Detection Available On Samsung Galaxy Watches Later This Year

On February 10, 2024, Samsung Electronics announced that a sleep apnea symptom detector available on the Samsung Galaxy Watch and phone is officially approved by the FDA.

“The sleep apnea feature enables users over the age of 22 who have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea to detect signs of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) over a two-night monitoring period, a common and chronic sleep condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated. To utilize the feature, users can simply track their sleep twice for more than four hours within a ten-day period,” Samsung said.

Samsung says that Samsung Galaxy Watches equipped with the sleep apnea feature will be available to U.S. consumers in the third quarter of 2024.

Mashable reports that Apple Watches may also be getting a sleep apnea detection feature soon.

Sleep Apnea And Trucking

The feature could be significant for members of the trucking industry, as nearly one third of drivers suffer from the condition. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 28% of commercial truck drivers suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea.

While a sleep apnea diagnosis does not automatically exclude a person from operating a commercial vehicle, it can make it more difficult to be medically certified.

From the FMCSA:

While FMCSA regulations do not specifically address sleep apnea, they do prescribe that a person with a medical history or clinical diagnosis of any condition likely to interfere with their ability to drive safely cannot be medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. However, once successfully treated, a driver may regain their “medically-qualified-to-drive” status. It is important to note that most cases of sleep apnea can be treated successfully.

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