It might become even easier to keep an eye on your health concerns at home thanks to Apple.
A new report from Bloomberg has revealed a series of new features set to appear in the next generation of Apple Watches, and some of them are pretty major.
According to the report, the Apple Watch series 10 is set to release next year and will boast the capability to detect elevated blood pressure and sleep disturbances that can assist in diagnosing hypertension and sleep apnea.
The tech giant is likewise reportedly working on other health features for future models and other devices, like AirPods, as part of its “evolving approach to health care.”
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Apple Watch blood pressure sensors
The new Apple Watch will have a rudimentary blood pressure sensor, reported Bloomberg.
This feature may function using near-infrared spectroscopy, speculated Forbes, meaning changes in blood pressure are calculated by looking at blood flow with near-infrared light.
This sensor will not offer exact numbers the same way the cuff in a doctor’s office does, but it can detect changes and, importantly, elevations in blood pressure. This would serve as an initial cue that someone is suffering from hypertension and indicate that further exploration by a health care professional is necessary.
While this detection is not yet very exact, Bloomberg reports that future models could develop the capability to produce exact systolic and diastolic measurements, AKA the stuff you get when using a cuff. This may also come with a blood pressure journal enabling users to keep track of changes and spikes.
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Apple Watch sleep apnea detection
Like the blood pressure sensor, this feature will work as an early warning to users, letting them know they may need to get in touch with a doctor.
Accuracy may be a concern, but the watch will ultimately defer to making a doctor’s appointment based on any abnormalities it detects. While it will not be able to monitor brain activity, a diagnostic tool used in traditional sleep studies, it will be able to check for other common indicators such as movement, breathing rate, snoring and heart rate.
While users will still have to go to a medical professional for a formal assessment and diagnosis, many people hesitate to have initial testing done thanks to the uncomfortable nature of a polysomnogram, which entails trying to sleep in a hospital setting while hooked up to many sensors and machines. This early warning from home may help to bridge that gap.
Like blood pressure monitoring, this feature is meant to serve as an early indicator and encourage users to further investigate these preliminary findings.
Future Apple product health features
The future of Apple products looks to include more health features, reported Bloomberg, including an Apple Watch with a blood glucose monitor that warns wearers if they may become pre-diabetic.
The company is also reportedly developing a digital health coaching service that would require a monthly subscription and may use artificial intelligence and device data to create unique workout and eating plans for users.
Apple is also working on creating AirPods that also serve as hearing aids and a feature to test your hearing at home, said Bloomberg.