Apple reportedly looking to expand smartwatch health features to blood pressure and fertility tracking

Apple’s next health move may be blood pressure tracking on smartwatches, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. Specifically, the technology would be able to alert a user if their blood pressure began to increase, the Wall Street Journal learned from sources familiar with the plan and internal documents. 

Apple is also looking at the femtech space, according to the report, potentially rolling out a new fertility planning thermometer system sometime next year. 

While the blood pressure monitoring and fertility thermometer appear to be in the not-so-distant future, the documents reveal that the tech titan could be working on sleep apnea and diabetes detection in the long term. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

If these plans come to fruition, this represents yet another move into healthcare for Apple. The Silicon Valley company made headlines in 2018 when it landed a De Novo clearance for its smartwatch with an ECG reader.

Since then, the company has continued to add health features to its smartwatches. For example, in December MobiHealthNews learned that the company was rolling out a new low V02 Max feature on its Apple Watches, as well as a new ECG feature that is able to detect A-Fib with a high heart rate

The move into femtech isn’t new either. In fact, Apple teamed up with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health on the Apple Women’s Health Study, which is aimed at understanding more about periods in women across demographics and lifestyles. 

When it comes to health, Apple isn’t just focused on its smartwatches. During Apple’s WWDC, the company announced a slew of new health features including real-time assessment of walking stability and fall risk, additional context for lab results and a tool for caregivers to track patient trends on their smartphones. 

THE LARGER TREND 

While blood pressure tracking may be new to Apple, there are several digital health companies working on digitizing the experience.  In 2019 Omron Healthcare announced it landed FDA clearance for its wearable oscillometric wrist blood pressure monitor. 

Then in 2021, smartwatch competitor Samsung rolled out its blood pressure measurement tool. Swiss startup Aktiia scored an EU CE mark in January for its wearable continuous blood pressure monitor Aktiia. 

As for fertility tracking companies, there are quite a few using temperatures to help users gather insights about their fertility windows. Recently Natural Cycles landed FDA clearance to integrate third-party thermometers–including consumer wearables into its app to help pinpoint a user’s fertility status. Kindara has also been working on fertility tracking tools that use thermometers for the better half of a decade. 

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