By Tim Hardwick
Apple plans to add blood pressure monitoring and sleep apnea detection to the Apple Watch in 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
In a report examining Apple's healthcare ambitions, Gurman outlines the first version of the company's “groundbreaking” blood pressure technology, which will arrive next year and will include hypertension detection:
The system is designed to simply tell the user if their blood pressure is trending high and offer the user a log in which to record what happened when hypertension occurred. To avoid possible misdiagnosis, the feature will then prompt the user to talk to their doctor or check their blood pressure using a traditional cuff, which can provide accurate systolic and diastolic measurements.
According to Gurman, a future version of the system, currently under development, will be able to provide accurate numbers and even diagnose comorbidities. However, these improvements are “still a long way off,” he adds.
Sleep apnea detection will also be available in 2024 on the Apple Watch. According to the report, it will use sleep and breathing patterns to assess whether someone has the disease and then refer users to a doctor.
As previously reported, Apple is also working on non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. Apple's system reportedly uses a silicon photonic chip that emits laser light under the skin to detect glucose concentrations in the body.
Glucose monitoring was designed similarly to blood pressure monitoring. system as it currently tracks a person's blood sugar dynamics and warns users of prediabetes rather than offering actual blood sugar readings.
Apple's blood glucose monitoring efforts, however, remain unlikely . Gurman's latest report, citing people with knowledge of the effort, is expected to last for “at least several years.”
In addition to the Apple Watch, Apple is also set to release hearing aids. detection on AirPods in 2024. Equipped with the new feature, AirPods will be able to work like an over-the-counter hearing aid and perform hearing tests that are typically performed in audiologists' offices.
Elsewhere, Apple is reportedly continuing to explore ways to transform the upcoming Apple Vision Pro headset into a health device, as previously reported by The Information. Anti-anxiety and advanced meditation features are currently being developed, as well as a virtual reality system to promote positive thinking and improve mental health.
Apple is also exploring the possibility of using sensors in the device to scan. According to Gurman, the user sees cognitive health data, and a headset version of Fitness+ “remains on the table.”
The Bloomberg report also includes some interesting background on Apple's evolving health and healthcare initiatives in recent years, as well as an update on paid health coaching service, which is under development. Read the full text here
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