Ever since the Apple Watch was released back in 2015, the Cupertino giant has been focused on adding various health monitoring and safety features. In fact, in a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted the health features of the Apple Watch, referring to the various lives it saved over the past years. Cook also said that he aims for Apple to be known as a health company rather than a tech company in the future. Hence, a recent patent suggests that the Cupertino giant is developing a specialized watchband for its wearables that will be able to continuously monitor the blood pressure level of users.
Blood Pressure Monitoring on Apple Watch
The patent, dubbed as Stretchable Blood Pressure Cuff, was spotted in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database. It was filed on March 23 of this year and suggests that Apple is developing a stretchable watchband that will be able to measure the blood pressure of users.
“A user may monitor one or more of their physiological parameters by attaching a monitoring device such as a blood pressure monitor to one of their limbs. The blood pressure monitor may include an inextensible cuff that secures an inflatable bladder against a limb of the user,” the patent states.
Now, while the latest Apple Watch models can monitor and measure various health activities of users, including their heart rate and sleep, they cannot measure the blood pressure out of the box. Users need to rely on third-party products that include an additional pressure cuff that wraps around a user’s arm.
However, the Stretchable Blood Pressure Cuff could allow future Apple Watch models to continually monitor the wearers blood pressure right out of the box. Hence, users won’t have to purchase additional third-party accessories to monitor their blood pressure.
In the patent application, Apple explains that the specialized pressure cuff can expand, “thereby compressing one or more blood vessels in the limb and restricting and/ or stopping blood flow through the vessels.” This way the Apple Watch would be able to “determine one or more physiological parameters of a user such as blood pressure of the user.”
So, Apple could integrate this technology into its collection of Apple Watch bands in the future. However, it is worth mentioning that even though Apple patents various technologies, the company does not include much of them in their products until they are completely ready for the market. Hence, it might be sometime before we see Apple come up with such a specialized Apple Watch band with blood pressure tracking capabilities.