Apple is planning to add numerous new health features to the Apple Watch in the future. Upcoming features are said to include blood-pressure trends, a thermometer for fertility and sleep tracking, sleep apnea detection, and diabetes detection. A number of updates for existing models are also said to be planned, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Sources who claim to be familiar with Apple’s plans and with alleged access to internal company documents clued WSJ in on a large number of new Apple Watch health features. Most of the new health monitoring functions are not expected to debut before 2022.
A thermometer is said to be under consideration for health monitoring purposes on the Apple Watch as soon as next year. While initially the thermometer’s features are purportedly centered around fertility planning (ovulation cycle), as well as improved detection of patterns when tracking sleep. There are also plans for this sensor to detect when a user has a fever later down the line.
The blood pressure monitoring feature reportedly detects when a user’s blood pressure is increasing and can warn of possible hypertension. The report says Apple has planned to release the feature next year but has experienced issues with the technology.
The company also has plans to implement detection for sleep apnea using the existing blood-oxygen sensor, but the report indicates that there have been challenges with taking readings often enough without draining the Apple Watch’s battery life. Apple also intends to provide medical guidance when the Apple Watch detects low blood-oxygen levels.
While Apple is also said to be working on diabetes detection on the Apple Watch, but the company is said to have faced challenges with non-invasive blood glucose measuring and has struggled to make progress.
The report cautioned that these new Apple Watch health features are currently under study and development at Apple and could ultimately never make an appearance on the Apple Watch.