Apple Watch 6 may be able to track blood pressure without a cuff
- Apple already has heart rate tracking but the ability to detect blood pressure could be a valuable addition
The much-awaited Apple Watch 6 is expected to come with a lot more health-tracking features than we have seen so far including the ability to detect anxiety levels. A new patent has surfaced that suggests that the upcoming device could also come with the capability to check blood pressure.
Apple already has heart rate tracking but the ability to detect blood pressure could be a valuable addition to what the Apple Watch can do for its users' health. Atypical blood pressure could be symptomatic of persistent health conditions like hypertension. According to a CNN report, hypertension, amongst various other issues, could increase the risk of a person contracting Covid-19.
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Ideally, to read blood pressure, you need an accessory like the compression cuff. The patent Apple has filed describes how a “non-invasive blood pressure reading” is possible with the use of applanation tonometry. Applanation tonometry is a method that optometrists use to measure pressure on the eye.
The patent has details of what this might look like including a series of electrodes of a wearable, like an Apple Watch, and/or capacitive nodes on the watch band. While most of the possible configurations use capacitive sensors, the Apple patent notes that they could apply to other kinds of sensors like the piezoresistive pressure sensors that change form when pressure is applied. This offers plenty of possibilities in measuring pressure and what the ultimate method of use could be.
The patent was first filed in September 2016, but that it has been published on May 12, 2020 means that this tech might come to the Apple Watch 6.
If the ability to read blood pressure gets added to what is potentially coming to the Apple Watch 6, it bumps up a health repertoire that already has a blood oxygen level tracker which can help detect sleep apnea. Then there is the heart rate tracker, which, together with the blood oxygen level tracker can help detect hyperventilation and prompt users to stop, take a breather and calm down.
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