Without a doubt, Apple has become a household staple worldwide. Notably, Apple Watch has captured the lion’s share of the smart watch market: per research reports, the Apple Watch accounted for nearly 40% of smartphone watch sales in Q4 of 2020, while a far second place was credited to Samsung, owning just 10% of the market share.
Beyond being of the most successful smart devices in the world, the Apple Watch has also provided the company with an incredible opportunity: entry into the realm of healthcare and wearables technology. The Watch boasts numerous health related features, including heart rate monitoring, an electrocardiogram (ECG) feature which can detect abnormal heart rhythms, fall detection, and more recently, oxygen saturation. Furthermore, Apple’s robust Fitness platform, which the company touts as “The first fitness service powered by Apple Watch” that entails “11 workout types, including HIIT, Yoga, and Strength […] guided meditations […] real‑time metrics, like your heart rate [and] New workouts every week, from 5 to 45 minutes.”
The future of Apple’s healthcare offerings are incredibly bright. Earlier this month, a report published by Bloomberg indicated that Apple is working on expanding its presence in healthcare even further using its proprietary technology. Per the report, Apple is actively trying to develop a blood pressure monitoring feature, in addition to a body-temperature sensor and non-invasive blood glucose monitoring capabilities. However, the features are still far-off, as accuracy, product viability, and patient efficacy are key metrics yet to be ironed out by the company.
Nevertheless, the drive with which the technology company is building these products is inspiring, given the significant value these features may potentially provide to millions of people.
Take for example non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. The World Health Organization estimated that in 2014, nearly 422 million people across the globe had diabetes, a figure that has likely sky-rocketed in the last 8 years. For many of these individuals, blood glucose monitoring using the traditional method entails sticking themselves with sharp needles multiple times a day to draw blood, a process which is both uncomfortable and cumbersome. Though non-invasive blood glucose monitoring technology itself is not ground-breaking, if Apple perfects this technology, it will assuredly make it a seamless feature of the Apple Watch, easing the burden for millions worldwide.
Blood pressure monitoring may also be a valuable addition. As the Mayo Clinic explains, “A hypertensive crisis is a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke. Extremely high blood pressure […] can damage blood vessels. The blood vessels become inflamed and may leak fluid or blood. As a result, the heart may not be able to pump blood effectively.” An article in the Journal of the American Heart Association cites that “The estimated number of visits for hypertensive emergency and the rate per million adult ED visits has more than doubled from 2006 to 2013.” As diets worldwide worsen and individuals continue to become more sedentary, rates of hypertension will likely only continue to rise. Therefore, a wearable device that can provide blood pressure reads may be a significant boon to those that require monitoring.
Overall, these strides provide a wider perspective into Apple’s behavior as a technology leader. Though it was originally a company that specialized purely in computers and computing hardware, the tech giant has since transformed itself into far more—expanding its scope into telecommunications, entertainment, personal devices, wearables, and much more. Its dedication to use these technologies for a variety of important applications, including healthcare, indicates that the company is committed to improving the average consumer’s quality of life. Without a doubt, though many of these healthcare offerings are still in their infancy, Apple has a proven track record of success when it comes to ground-breaking technology. Thus, it is only a matter of time before these far-reaching features soon become reality.
The content of this article is not implied to be and should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by any means, and is not written or intended as such. This content is for information and news purposes only. Consult with a trained medical professional for medical advice.