• Apple Watch OS update may include better monitoring of panic attacks
  • Apple Watch needs proper hardware for accuracy in monitoring
  • New Apple Watch features could be introduced at WWDC 2020

Wearable devices have become the new normal for people who want to stay in shape. The Apple Watch is perhaps one of the leading devices known to many and the company is broadening its features as we speak. The latest enhancement to the Apple Watch will reportedly be better in recognizing panic attacks.

This was the claim of Jon Prosser, a reliable leaker for Apple. He made a guest appearance at a podcast recently, alleging that the Cupertino company is working on an Apple Watch hardware and software to detect when a person is hyperventilating. He explained that hyperventilation is when a person has an elevated heart rate and shortness of breath, symptoms of panic attacks that can be quantified by existing or rumored hardware.

"They can take the oxygen levels in your blood, with your heart rate, and determine if you're hyperventilating," Prosser said. "They can identify a panic attack before it happens and warn you on your watch. Especially if you're driving, they'll ask you to pull over and they'll offer breathing exercises once you get pulled over. It's incredible."

However, there remain questions on how accurate this feature will be. The hardware would need to be sensitive enough to alert an Apple Watch owner of a potential panic attack before it occurs. This would all depend on the new blood oxygen sensor and the specialized software to properly detect when a person is hyperventilating.

Prosser's revelation supports the claim of another leaker, Nikias Molina. In a previous post, it was mentioned how the Apple Watch Series 6 would deal with anxiety and sleep-related issues. Already present are heart-rate monitoring and unusual anxiety detection. Given that most are ordered to stay at home, social isolation is seen as something feeding a certain degree of anxiety that is related to sleep problems. There is a possibility that hyperventilation will be linked as well.

Whatever the new features the Apple Watch may bring, the actual score is likely to be revealed at the WWDC 2020 set for June. If not, given the coronavirus situation, there is also the possibility that these could be held off for 2021, Apple Insider reported. A reason for this is that the Cupertino company needs to make sure that these improvements are reliable and something that Apple Watch owners can find useful.

Apple Watch leather straps
These Apple Watch leather straps will give a style boost to any of your outfits. AFP / Johannes EISELE