Apple Watch May Soon Be Able To Detect Hypertension And Sleep Apnea

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An Apple Watch Series 8 model

Apple, which has always touted its smartwatches as excellent health accessories, is likely to add a bunch of new health-focused features to future models. According to a Bloomberg report, among the new features likely to make it to the next-generation Apple Watch models is the capability to detect conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea.

Apple Watches have evolved to feature advanced health-focused features like heart rate monitoring, advanced sleep tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring. The latter became an extremely important tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. Later Apple Watch models also added ECG functionality, detecting irregular heart rhythms that suggest AFib.

More recent health-focused feature additions to the Apple Watch include Cycle Tracking — designed to help women track their menstrual cycle, ovulation, and fertility — and the inclusion of a temperature sensor that can track the basal body temperature and other temperature changes in an individual.

In addition to these health features, the Apple Watch also offers a number of other features that can be beneficial for your health, such as fitness tracking, fall detection, and emergency SOS. These features have, on several occasions, turned into actual life savers.

A new look along with new features?

Person using the ECG feature on an older Apple Watch

According to Bloomberg, Apple is likely to equip the next-generation Apple Watch with an entirely new sensor that has the capability to detect elevated blood pressure levels. It is pertinent to note that the watch would still be unable to provide exact systolic and diastolic measurements and will only sound a warning when it detects signs of hypertension. 

However, the ability to replace a full-fledged sphygmomanometer is under consideration and might as well become a reality several years down the line. Currently, the plan is to have a new blood pressure journal so users can track their hypertension and note what was happening when it occurred.

For sleep apnea detection, the next-generation Apple Watch will monitor a person's sleeping and breathing habits and generate a report indicating whether they suffer from the condition or not. If detected, a companion app will recommend the next logical steps, usually involving following up with a doctor.

Besides the aforementioned feature additions, the 2024 edition of the Apple Watch will also likely receive a design update, allowing Apple to add these new capabilities, such as additional sensors and a larger display.

In addition to these Apple Watch-centric health-focused features, Apple is reportedly working on enhancing the capability of its AirPods to transform them into over-the-counter hearing aids. There is a paid health coaching service under consideration as well, in addition to new anti-anxiety and workout features designed for the Vision Pro Mix reality headset.

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