Apple Reportedly Planning Multiple New Apple Watch Health Features, Including Temperature and Blood-Pressure Monitoring

Apple is planning to add blood-pressure monitoring and a thermometer to the Apple Watch, according to the Wall Street Journal.

apple watch 6s 202009
Sources who claim to be familiar with Apple’s plans, with access to internal company documents, told the Wall Street Journal that the company is planning to add a number of significant new health features to the Apple Watch. Most of these new health monitoring functions are not expected to arrive before 2022.

Apple is said to be considering adding a thermometer to the Apple Watch for health monitoring purposes as soon as next year. The thermometer’s features are purportedly based around fertility planning to give women insights into their ovulation cycle and improved detection of patterns when tracking sleep. Further in the future, there are also plans for this sensor to detect fevers.

The blood-pressure monitoring feature reportedly detects when pressure is increasing and can suggest the presence of hypertension. Apple intended to release the feature next year but has experienced difficulties in perfecting the technology, according to the report.

As opposed to the common methods that measure blood pressure using an inflatable cuff wrapped around the upper arm, Apple’s system measures the speed of the wave of a heartbeat through a user’s arteries using sensors. This would then show users how their blood pressure is trending, but would not provide a baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurement. Some Apple employees have apparently raised questions with managers over the usefulness of the feature.

Apple is also purportedly studying an additional cuffless blood-pressure monitoring device that could provide a more precise reading without inflating.

Further in the future, the company apparently has plans to implement detection for sleep apnea using the existing blood-oxygen sensor, but there have been challenges with taking readings often enough without draining the Apple Watch’s battery life. Apple also intends to provide medical guidance when the Apple Watch detects low blood-oxygen levels, and add the ability for the device to detect signs of diabetes.

The report cautioned that these new health features are currently under study and may never be released to customers or could be delayed.

More to follow…

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