Since the first Apple Watch, new health tracking features has been added. Initially, Apple Watch had heart rate monitor, followed later by ECG monitor and blood oxygen monitor. Upcoming Apple Watches may include blood pressure monitoring feature. Apple has filed a new patent that suggests the development of blood pressure monitor. At the moment, we need oscillometry cuffs to accurately measure blood pressure level. That makes blood pressure measuring equipment bulky. Having such a feature on smartwatch would be a good thing. However, Apple never claims that Apple Watch won’t ensure accurate readings, but we could have an idea on our health conditions. The ability to take initial readings of blood pressure could detect health problems at an early stage, which is easier and quicker to treat. For people with high blood pressure or hypertension, a smartwatch with such feature could be a life-saver. Sometimes, people don’t realize that their blood pressure goes steadily. At the moment, Apple Watches are ideal for monitoring cardiovascular issues.
Just like any smartwatch, Apple Watch also has the ability to track heart rates. Apple Watch users will get notification if their heart rate is above 120bpm without physical activity or stay under 40 bpm for a period of time. Users may configure these thresholds, depending on their physical conditions. You can set the “low heart rate” and high heart rate” values in Heart app. Another feature that Apple Watch has heart rhythm monitoring, which is useful if you have intermittent heart rate, like rapid heart rate and heart skipping a beat. Regular arrhythmia may indicate certain heart issues and you need to contact the doctor. Apple Watch could record the ECG data and you can share the information with the doctor. Be aware that what’s abnormal to a person, could be normal for another. So, it’s not a good idea to interpret ECG data without medical consultation. As an example, it is normal for some people to have resting heart rate around 45 bpm, while others with resting heart rate below 55 bpm could indicate an abnormality.
When Apple Watch measures the rhythm of the heart, it measures the AFib or atrial fibrillation that happens when the upper chambers beat irregularly. It also indicates a possible severe medical condition. Because AFib is an intermittent event, it would be convenient to have a smartwatch to measure it. Unfortunately, Apple Watch isn’t always reliable when measuring AFib. There could be false positives and you may have AFib, but Apple Watch doesn’t notify you. More recently, Apple Watch Series 6 gets blood oxygenation sensor, which is more for wellness and fitness, instead of for health monitoring. Even so, prolonged low level of blood oxygen could indicate problems like sleep apnea, asthma or COVID-19. With proper use, Apple Watch could make you sure about current health and fitness conditions. There is even a proposal a few years ago that allows Apple Watch to help to diagnose diabetes. Although these features are still in the realms of development, it is still certain that Apple Watch will be more capable in the future.