WSJ: Future Apple Watches to detect fertility, diabetes, sleep apnea

The Wall Street Journal delivers a Walgreens full of health-related Apple rumors to start the day.

From Rolfe Winkler’s “Apple Plans Blood-Pressure Measure, Wrist Thermometer in Watch” posted Wednesday morning:

Apple Inc. is working on new health-related features for its smartwatch, including a tool to tell users when their blood pressure is increasing and a thermometer to help with fertility planning, according to people familiar with the plans and internal company documents.

The fertility feature could be available as soon as next year, along with potential improvements to its irregular-heartbeat monitoring and an upgrade to how it tracks sleep patterns, the people said and the documents show.

The company is expected to release its seventh version of the Apple Watch in the coming weeks, according to analysts, but most of its more ambitious health-related improvements aren’t expected before 2022. 

Beyond next year, Apple wants its smartwatch to be able to detect sleep apnea, provide medical guidance when it senses low blood oxygen levels and, perhaps one day, spot diabetes, according to the documents and some of the people.

Features, especially those being studied for release in later years, might never be rolled out to consumers or timing could change, cautioned people familiar with the company’s plans.

My take: Could this story have been the trigger that catapulted Apple shares to a new intraday high?

apple watch fertility apnea

12 Comments

  1. Roger Schutte said:
    If I recall correctly either my Series 0 or Series 3 Apple Watch had little connectors built in where the bands slide it. I always thought they were for Smartbands to do other sensing not possible by lights on the backside of the watch. I just checked my present watch and those ports aren’t there anymore. I don’t know when they were dropped but maybe they will return on the upcoming watch along with smartbands.

    0
    September 1, 2021
  2. Steven Philips said:
    Fertility tracking for her – and blood pressure for him? Hmmm! 🙂
    (Your image says it all!)

    4
    September 1, 2021
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      @ Steven Philips —

      Hilarious!

      0
      September 2, 2021
  3. David Emery said:
    Considering the cost of diabetic blood sugar supplies (even with deductibles), an Apple Watch with sugar monitoring would soon pay for itself. (My Freestyle sensors cost me $70/month)

    4
    September 1, 2021
    • Fred Stein said:
      Plus pre-diabetics (there’s 88 million of us) translates to large new and upgrade sales. The concept, optical blood sugar sensing, has be around for decades. This has ramped this up lately.

      Apple will provide this…when it’s ready.

      1
      September 1, 2021
      • Robert Stack said:
        @Fred: “The concept, optical blood sugar sensing, has be around for decades.”

        You are so right! Besides optical sensing, do you remember Cygnus’ Glucowatch?

        0
        September 1, 2021
  4. Fred Stein said:
    OT, but important.

    Google plans to put their own silicon designed computer in ChromeBooks in 2023. That’s 3 years behind Apple (M1 notebook announced Nov 2020).

    From Watches to their highest end workstations, Apple has a commanding technology lead. Don’t tell the regulators. They naively believe that letting 3rd parties get more money adolescent gamers is their “Mission from God”.

    3
    September 1, 2021
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      That’s 3 years behind Apple (M1 notebook announced Nov 2020).

      I was going to say “Nope, they are 4 years behind Apple. Second-generation M Series will be announced this month”. But you’re right: the first generation to the first generation.

      Then there’s the question of when they commenced the development of their chip. If it was in response to Apple’s announcement it won’t be as well developed as the M1 was when it was announced.

      Not having the chip development creds Apple does, my guess is it won’t be near as developed as the M1 no matter when they started work on it.

      2
      September 1, 2021
      • Fred Stein said:
        Yes Gregg, fun to speculate. I suspect Google knew about Apple’s silicon plans before it was announced. Still, clearly Google are followers.

        Google has one advantage and one disadvantage. Google will leverage their Tensor AI chip. But Google will use Samsung’s foundry, which is behind TSMC; And Samsung is… well…. Samsung.

        Finally Chromebook is a terminal as in terminal/server. Cue the twilight zone music.

        0
        September 1, 2021
        • David Emery said:
          Since Apple controls CPU, systems and software, Apple can make specific trade-offs in that collective space. With Google hardware, if I were an Android 3rd party hardware vendor (i.e. Samsung), I’d be -very concerned- about Google making decisions that are optimal for its hardware, but work poorly on my own hardware.

          1
          September 1, 2021
  5. bas flik said:
    i do not think google has the numbers. how much chromebooks are being sold? google phones flopping all the time. and no pricing power. so low prices combined with low numbers is a reason to buy a ready to go processor instead of developing one yourself and loose a lot of money. anyway making your own processor is way more difficult than announcing you want to develop one.

    1
    September 2, 2021

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