Apple is reportedly growing its list of health features for the future versions of the Apple Watch. The tech company is currently working on patents to showcase the said features.
Apple Watch to Add More Features
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple's plans include different types of monitoring, including temperature, blood sugar, blood pressure, and sleep.
The details about Apple's plan came after reports stated that the release of the next Watch is likely to be delayed due to manufacturing problems.
One of the planned features that the tech giant shared is adding new sensors to the Watch series. The company wants to create a sensor that can serve as a proxy for a blood pressure cuff that does not squeeze the wrist.
Apple has been planning to add blood pressure measurements for years. The tech giant filed for a patent application back in 2016 in order to develop a blood pressure monitor.
Apple's competitors are also working on their own blood pressure tracking devices. Samsung's Galaxy Watch was approved to track changes in blood pressure in 2020, but that feature is only available in South Korea.
Experts have been debating on whether the feature is accurate and useful. It has to be calibrated with measurements from blood pressure cuffs, and it must be done every four weeks.
This year, Apple had plans to add a temperature sensor to the upcoming Watch series, according to Bloomberg. However, the addition of the feature seems to have been pushed to 2022.
The first use for temperature sensing might involve fertility tracking, as the tech giant wants the feature to detect fevers.
Other Wearables' Features
Other wearables, like Fitbit's Sense and Amazon's Halo Band, have sensors for skin temperature. However, that measurement is different from the internal body temperature ready by a thermometer.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration or the FDA cleared the digital birth control Natural Cycles to use temperature data from wearables like the Oura smart ring.
Apple is also planning to expand the sleep and blood oxygen tracking abilities as they want the device to be able to detect sleep apnea in the future.
However, sleep disorders like sleep apnea are complicated, and diagnosing them involves numerous kinds of monitoring through the night, according to MacRumors.
For that feature to work properly, Apple would have to figure out the best times to track a user's blood oxygen, keeping the sensor on all night would drain the battery fast.
Getting the FDA Approval
Apple also wants to seek the approval of the FDA so they can roll out the existing features like heart rhythm tracking for those with irregular heartbeats and alerts for drops in blood oxygen levels.
Although the FDA gave clearance for the EKG feature for the Apple Watch, it can't be used by those who are suffering from a heart rhythm condition.
Also, the Watch's blood oxygen monitor is not cleared by the FDA, so it can't be used as a medical device.
Apple is currently working on adding blood sugar tracking and diabetes detection on its Watch series.
The tech giant has been trying to develop noninvasive glucose monitoring for the past couple of years now, but unfortunately, it is unsuccessful so far.
In 2020, Apple added the sleep monitoring feature on its WatchOS 7 series and it also has a timer to let users know how long they must wash their hands.
Earlier this year, Apple Watch teamed up with Telus Health for a 24/7 detection in case of emergency.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster