Apple Watch Sensors... start with heart?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Pistol Peto, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Pistol Peto, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014

    Pistol Peto macrumors member

    Pistol Peto

    Oct 9, 2013
    West of Toronto
    I was watching the Tim Cook interview with Charlie Rose this morning.

    Charlie says "It'll take your blood pressure and lots of other things" and Tim replies with "We'll start with the heart...". It was surprising to hear him say that. It sounds like its a done deal that they will do more with health sensors.

    Later he shows Charlie the watch up close and then pulls back a bit and says "I may have some things on here you shouldn't see."

    Then I had a good look at the back of the watch on Apples site. It has what Apple describes as 'a specially designed sensor that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect your heart rate.' There are four sensors. That's a lot to just take your pulse. Grant it, they want to take your pulse continuously and not lose it.

    One of the apps I currently use on my phone is to measure my heart beat. I had an irregular heart beat last summer and it was a great way to sit down and see my heart beat visually. You did this by pushing your finger into the the flash and the camera. If you don't move around too much the readings were quite good and quite consistent.

    So - what else will the watch be able to track and will they use the current sensors and just turn it on with software or will it require new sensors? In the last year Apple has hired many experts from the medical devices community - it can't just be the track your heart beat!

    My hope is blood pressure is next. That would be very useful for me.

    It wouldn't be surprised if a 3rd party developer used the existing sensors to track blood pressure - but I'm not sure if that's possible.

    Does anyone here work in the health field that may have some insight into the possibility of using sensors on the back of the watch to monitor blood pressure? Is it possible?

    Also - is there anything else that can be monitored with these type of sensors?

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated :)
  2. TechViking macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    Measuring blood pressure will not be possible directly, sorry.

    The holy grail is to be able to measure blood glucose non invasively. This could be done with IR reflectance spectroscopy. If this feature will make it in this version is unlikely, but not impossible.

    Other possible parameters are blood hemoglobin and oxygen saturation.
  3. FatMax macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2007
    By oxygen you mean the % of oxygen being picked in the blood? This is actually possible?

    I'm prone to anaphylactic shock, and having pulse with oxygen % would be helpful after stabbing myself with a EpiPen..
  4. TechViking macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009

    It is theoretically possible to measure many of the medically important parameters in the blood with IR spectroscopy. To actually implement it however will be very difficult and will require a tonne of work.
  5. JUiCEJamie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2011
    Interesting! It's good to read something like this because I don't like in the US.. (If anyone has a link for me to watch it, that'd be appreciated!)

    But also, the rumours of all these sensors being built in.. whilst it still is a 1st Gen product, I was hoping it'd fill the hype with just a little more.

    But, even in the Keynote and the CNN interview shortly after, I'm excited to see if they give Apple Watch a little more stage time at the October Event. (If they have one)
  6. JUiCEJamie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2011

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