Due to a new partnership with Natural Cycles that makes use of the smartwatch’s temperature sensors to make better predictions, the Galaxy Watch5 from Samsung will now offer enhanced period tracking features. Following the announcement of a new temperature sensor for the Apple Watch Series 8 in the fall, the launch follows in a similar vein. This sensor enables wearers to improve their period predictions and view retrospective estimates of ovulation when the watch is worn overnight.
Samsung claims that smartwatch owners in 32 nations, including Asia, Europe, and North America, will have access to the advanced period-tracking features.
It explains that Natural Cycles has created an algorithm that predicts fertility based on body temperature and other fertility indicators. The Watch5’s new infrared sensor and this will be used to monitor changes in skin temperature over the course of the night. According to Samsung, the data is encrypted and stored on the device, where it powers the Cycle Tracking feature of the Health app.
Unlike Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, and other third-party apps, Samsung had not introduced its own period tracking feature until 2020, which was a significant delay. However, in order to make predictions, the manual period tracking method relies on historical data, which can only go so far. Its accuracy can be improved by adding the capability to track changes in temperature.
“The Natural Cycles app has helped millions of women around the world take control of their fertility and this partnership will allow Samsung to leverage our fertility technology to offer temperature-based cycle tracking through a smartwatch for the first time,” said Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl, co-founder and co-CEO of Natural Cycles, in a statement.
Even though it may track temperature changes that could be your first indication of other health problems like polycystic ovary syndrome or fibroids, Apple warns its own customers that the temperature-tracking features it introduced should not be used as birth control or to diagnose health conditions.
In addition, Apple asserts that body temperature naturally fluctuates during sleep and that overnight temperature tracking can be influenced by other factors, such as the sleep environment. Instead, according to Apple, temperature tracking is only used to improve period predictions and estimate ovulation retrospectively.
Samsung, on the other hand, does not include those warnings in its own announcement and instead touts Natural Cycles’ capacity to identify “each user’s unique fertility status.” We would argue that a doctor would probably say that this method alone should not be used to determine fertility. However, it might be useful when used in conjunction with other methods, such as taking consistent basal temperature readings in the morning with a thermometer, performing other ovulation tests, and manually entering data from a period tracker.
The news of today demonstrates that Samsung is attempting to maintain its lead in a market where Apple has dominated. However, rather than developing its own algorithm internally, it chose to work with a partner rather than rush to compete in this area.
It is not the first time that Samsung has made use of partnerships to enhance the capabilities of its Health app. For instance, the company previously announced a partnership with Calm to add content to the Mindfulness section of the app.
The Samsung Health app for the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro is expected to include the brand-new skin temperature-based cycle tracking capabilities in the second quarter. This feature will be available in 32 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.