The iWatch may not just be a wearable technology that will just look good on the user's wrist. It might actually be a device that can help save lives by predicting a heart attack.
Recently, reports surfaced that top executives at Apple have met with several prospective partners, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk to a possible purchase or maybe a partnership. Additional reports indicate that the people behind iPhone and iPad manufacturing are looking into medical technologies. If the reports prove true, the new medical sensors might be incorporated into the iWatch.
"The newspaper has also learned that Apple is heavily exploring medical devices, specifically sensor technology that can help predict heart attacks. Led by Tomlinson Holman, a renowned audio engineer who invented THX and 10.2 surround sound, Apple is exploring ways to predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes at it flows through arteries," reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The publication learned about the rumor from an insider who asked not to be named.
Essentially, Apple has the spending power to experiment on whatever it desires. Critics criticized Apple for not spending a good chunk of its $160 billion cash pile recently. Meanwhile, Google that has been on a spending spree. Billionaire Carl Icahn, who holds Apple shares worth $4 billion, has also been vocal about the need to spend.
Holman was hired in 2011 and has been experimenting with methods that would enable an iDevice to listen for turbulence within blood vessels. Apple is looking to develop, if it hasn't yet, sensors and software that can help its save lives.
"It could be part of a larger portfolio of solutions aimed at the broader ecosystem of health care. That would be fascinating to watch," said Bill Kreher, an analyst for the firm Edward Jones.
The newest reports about the heart attack-predicting iWatch are consistent with previous rumors that the new wearable will be health-centric.
The iWatch, which is expected to launch this year, will work in tandem with the next iPhone. The iPhone will be equipped with hardware and software that can help monitor blood glucose levels and the user's heart rate. The iWatch might be able to "talk" with the next iteration of the iPhone to complete the package.
Apple has also posted a job ad for an expert in exercise physiologist, who can help with the design of the iWatch and conduct user studies pertaining to energy expenditure and cardiovascular fitness, among other essential physiological measurements.
Any development that can help save lives is always welcome. An iWatch that can save people from a cardiac arrest will definitely be a valuable piece of wearable technology. Will there come a time when the life saving iWatch will tell the iPhone (or perhaps an iChestBand) to deliver a shock (iDefib) to revive an individual during an emergency and perhaps instruct Siri to call 911 or the user's closest family member? Why not.