Connected object technology opens up new possibilities to combat the most common sleep disorders

Sleep Health has published a study revealing the accuracy with which the Galaxy Watch4 measures oxygen saturation in the blood, which is believed to be correlated with the degree of severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

A study published by Sleep Health, the medical journal of the National Sleep Foundation, suggests that the Galaxy Watch4 could be used to measure obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study found that wrist-worn “trackers”, such as the Galaxy Watch4, accurately measured the oxygen levels of patients participating in the study over time, which would allow researchers to screen for OSA by analyzing data collected by the watch.

Overview of the study

  • A joint research team from Samsung Medical Center[1] and Samsung Electronics compared SpO2 measurements taken by the Galaxy Watch4 with traditional sleep tracking methods, such as polysomnography (PSG) SpO2 measurement and sleep apnea levels used in sleep medicine.
  • The study involved 97 adults[2] with sleep disorders from the age of 13 to 44. Participants were classified according to the intensity of their OSA: normal, mild, moderate or severe.[3]
  • The researchers simultaneously measured SpO2 with the Galaxy Watch4 on one side and the traditional fingertip system on the other. The results from both methods were consistent, demonstrating that the Galaxy Watch4 accurately measures blood oxygen saturation during sleep and can be used to screen for OSA.
  • This study concludes that the Galaxy Watch4 could help counter the high costs and avoid hospitalization associated with traditional measurement tools by monitoring sleep habits daily with a connected object.

How does the Galaxy Watch4 measure blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)?

  • The Galaxy Watch4’s pulse oximeter module – located under the watch case and in contact with the skin – was used to measure peripheral blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

  • OSA is a common sleep disorder thought to affect up to 38% of the adult population. This disorder is usually characterized by repetitive obstruction of the upper airways during sleep, leading to oxygen desaturation in the blood, frequent awakenings and increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
  • According to some estimates, up to 50% of middle-aged men and 25% of women suffer from moderate or severe OSA.

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[1] Samsung Medical Center (SMC) is Korea’s most reputable hospital. Since its inception, SMC has made great medical advances in all fields, including treatment, research, education, and medical service.

[2] Of the 97 participants, 74 were men and 23 were women.

[3] Participants were classified into four groups as follows: normal OSA (AHI <5/h), mild (5≤ AHI <15/h), moderate (15≤ AHI <30/h) and severe (IAH ≥30/h ) according to PSG results.

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