The Apple Watch Series 8 will reportedly detect if you have a fever

The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 models should incorporate a new sensor that’ll continually measure your body temperature and detect if you may be running a fever.

Apple Watch Series 7 laid facedown, with the optical heart rate sensor on its back crystal exposed
Image: Chelson Tamares / Unsplash
  • Detecting a fever, along with other possible health features derived from body temperature data, will require precise, reliable software algorithms.
  • A body temperature sensor apparently won’t provide precise readings like a wrist thermometer does because doing so would require FDA approval.
  • This feature should come to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 models assuming the new sensor passes internal testing.

Will Apple Watch Series 8 have a body temperature sensor?

There’s been some confusion regarding the state of new health features coming to the Apple Watch, such as a body temperature sensor. This technology was supposed to appear in the current Series 7 models but got delayed for reasons unknown. Following the launch of Series 7, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that this year’s Apple Watch Series 8 will take your body temperature. Bloomberg’s usually well-informed Mark Gurman has flip-flopped from the next Apple Watch lacking this sensor to echoing Kuo’s claim and saying it would have one after all.

You can expect some new health-tracking features in this year’s Apple Watch. In April, I reported that Apple has been aiming to add body-temperature detection to its Series 8 model, assuming the capability passes muster during internal testing. I now believe the feature is a go for both the standard Apple Watch Series 8 and a new rugged edition that’s aimed at extreme sports athletes.

Similar to the blood oxygen sensor, you won’t get precise numerical readings of your body temperature because that would require FDA approval. What the watch will do instead is run your body temperature data through the algorithm to determine if you might have a fever. Read: How to use Apple’s health-checklist feature

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg’s Power On newsletter:

The body-temperature feature won’t give you a specific reading—like with a forehead or wrist thermometer—but it should be able to tell if it believes you have a fever. It could then recommend talking to your doctor or use a dedicated thermometer.

Will Apple Watch SE 2 tell if you have a fever?

The next Apple Watch SE won’t have this sensor, according to Gurman. That’s probably because the Apple Watch SE omits some of the advanced technology built into the more expensive models to keep the price down. Apple should also unveil a new high-end Apple Watch that should sport a rugged casing, a bigger display and also a body temperature sensor.

More health features coming to your wrist

Other health functions that we previously heard would be coming to the Apple Watch are a few years away at this point. For example, Apple apparently delayed blood pressure and glucose monitoring sensors until 2024. Apple is believed to be running trials of a blood-pressure sensor on employees. One of the features would warn people that they may have hypertension, which is a high blood pressure state. It should then suggest consulting a doctor or using a standard blood pressure checker.

Why Series 7 doesn’t measure your body temperature

The reason why the current Apple Watch Series 7 doesn’t have a body temperature sensor is technology. Creating a wrist thermometer is easier said than done because skin temperature quickly varies depending on outside environments. That’s why getting precise body temperature measurements entails using reliable algorithms.

“The challenge in implementing precise body temperature measurement is that skin temperature quickly varies depending on outside environments,” says Kuo. “A watch can’t support core temperature measurement in terms of hardware, so it needs an excellent algorithm to work together.” Read: How to set up Apple Watch as new