Apple launched its new smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 3, just last month, but it now appears to be already busy planning what’s next for its wearable series. A newly published patent application of the Cupertino giant apparently suggests that the company could be working on a new app that focuses on measuring and monitoring blood pressure. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a new patent application from the iPhone X maker. The document contains various details that allude to the creation of a blood pressure app possibly for future Apple Watch installments. Based on several statements in this patent, Apple seems to be keen on providing users a means of monitoring blood pressure and heart rate so as to alert them of certain abnormalities that could lead to irreversible damage when left unnoticed. 

The document presents sample processes, graphical user interface and a part of privacy policy that are not really limited to the Apple Watch smartwatch. Instead, they could also be applicable to other wearables, such as smart glasses and smart clothing. However, it is being assumed by Patently Apple that all of these could be relating to a blood pressure app that could be presented in a future Apple Watch. 

The app for the smart blood pressure monitoring system Apple is developing is designed to be capable of setting with notifications and reminders. This would ensure that users would be prompted whenever their blood pressure is measured. This would also be helpful in case the wearer has a prescribed schedule for blood pressure monitoring. There are also implementations in the patent that mention the device would be capable of automatically monitoring blood pressure based on user context triggers.

Apple has cited some examples of the context triggers that would lead to an automatic blood pressure monitoring process. Some of the user-set parameters indicated in the document include time, post-medication and the physical state of the user. These parameters will be detected by sensors built into the hardware. Aside from context triggers that would cause the device to do an automatic reading, there are also triggers that would alert the system when it’s not the best time to measure the blood pressure. One parameter stated in the patent is driving. Thus, it can be expected that when the wearer is driving, no blood pressure monitoring would take place, as pointed out by Apple Insider

There are significant advantages of having this smart blood monitoring system and its accompanying app. For instance, users would be able to consistently take and monitor their blood pressure. Furthermore, this could provide context for doctors who are reviewing blood pressure readings of regular patients. The graphical user interface described in the patent application can provide both users and their doctors with a detailed view of recorded blood pressure measurements. 

The new patent application comes a week after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent filing for a watch technology that could detect heart abnormalities and blood pressure. Given that this new application is a follow-up to last week’s published document, it’s clear that Apple is now more than ever serious in expanding its health project. Since the launch of HealthKit in 2014, Apple technologies have been recognized and used by scientists for hypertension studies. Also, following the launch of the Apple Watch, many believed that the mobile technology giant would be integrating smart sensors for blood oxygen, respiratory rate and many others with the wearable. It seems Apple is now taking bigger steps in realizing its goals for its health-centric endeavor. 

Apple Watch A new Apple patent application has surfaced, suggesting that the Cupertino giant could be working on a blood pressure app for its smartwatch. Photo: Reuters/Issei Kato