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The Apple Watch could be used to measure blood pressure

By Cookie Monster - on 6 Oct 2017, 12:00am

The Apple Watch could be used to measure blood pressure

If you haven't realized by now, the main focus of the Apple Watch has always been health. Besides getting people to be more active, Apple is reportedly pursuing various technologies to help Apple Watch users monitor their health. Since the Apple Watch is assessed to be able to detect abnormal heart rate with an accuracy of up to 97%, the next step is to calculate blood pressure.

Patently Apple discovered a patent application by the iPhone maker which is titled "Wrist Worn Accelerometer for Pulse Transmit Time (PTT) Measurements of Blood Pressure". Simply put, Apple has devised a brilliant method of calculating blood pressure with the Apple Watch and a sensor-equipped band. This method is described in the excerpt below:

Wrist-worn devices and related methods measure a pulse transit time non-invasively and calculate a blood pressure value using the pulse transit time. A wrist-worn device includes an accelerometer, a photo-plethysmogram (PPG) or a pulse pressure sensor, and a controller. The PPG or the pulse pressure sensor coupled to the wrist-worn device for detecting an arrival of a blood pressure pulse at the user’s wrist. The controller is configured to process output signals from the accelerometer to detect when the blood pressure pulse is propagated from the left ventricle of the user’s heart, process a signal from the PPG or the pulse pressure sensor to detect when the blood pressure pulse arrives at the wrist, calculate a pulse transit time (PTT) for propagation of the blood pressure pulse from the left ventricle to the wrist, and generate one or more blood pressure values for the user based on the PTT.

The idea of sensors-equipped bands is not new; BGR's source reported in May that Apple is planning to introduce interchangeable "smartwatch bands" which have different features such as a camera and a backup battery pack. These bands are said to help Apple bring a "game-changing health feature" to the Apple Watch. CNBC also reported earlier this year that Apple is working with 30 biomedical engineers to develop optical sensors for monitoring blood sugar levels

Taking into account the various reports of Apple diving into the medical field, it is not far fetched to imagine the Apple Watch becoming an important part of our lives as it serves as a bridge between us and the healthcare providers. 

Source: Patently Apple via 9to5Mac