One of the strongest elements of Apple’s smartwatch lineup these days is its health features. Apple may not be able to add all the features it wants to this year’s oft-rumored model. But it doesn’t sound like the company is slowing down with its plans anytime soon, though.
In a new report today from The Wall Street Journal, which cites individuals familiar with Apple’s plans and who have seen internal documentation related to the smartwatch, Apple has plans to bring quite a few new health features to the fore in the future. Just some of those features include the rumored blood pressure-monitoring, while also sleep tracking and a thermometer for fertility. As far as a release window is concerned, though, these unnamed sources suggest many of them won’t see the light of day until at least 2023.
Which would line up with a previous rumor that cropped up recently, saying that blood pressure monitoring would not arrive in the Apple Watch Series 7 this year after all (after a separate report said it would).
One of the first features to gain traction for Apple’s smartwatch is said to be a thermometer. This feature is said to be specifically meant for fertility planning, which will give women a chance to keep tabs on ovulation cycles. However, at some point in the future that same thermometer feature will reportedly be capable of detecting whether or not a wearer has a fever. The blood pressure monitoring feature is still in the works for the smartwatch as well, and Apple reportedly had plans to launch it next year. However, Apple has had trouble getting the feature where it wants for a public launch, so that launch window may not pan out.
Taking advantage of the blood-oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch, the company will apparently develop a means to track sleep apnea. Battery life appears to be one reason why this feature has not been developed so far. According to the report, Apple has not been able to develop a way to take enough readings throughout the night without significantly draining the smartwatch’s battery life. Apple will reportedly offer up medical advice if the Apple Watch does detect low blood-oxygen levels.
Diabetes detection is on the table, too. The company has faced struggles in developing this feature as well, especially as it relates to non-invasive blood glucose monitoring.
Existing Apple Watch models aren’t being left out in the cold, either. At least, not by Apple. The company is reportedly trying to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States to approve several new features for eligible models out there in the wild. That includes being able to track the atrial fibrillation over time. One additional feature would bring notifications for low blood-oxygen levels. However, there is no timetable for when these features might get approved and see the light of day.
Apple has quite a bit in the works for the Apple Watch, as far as health features are concerned. Which is not surprising in the slightest. It will be interesting to see what makes the cut this year.