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New Patent Application Shows How Apple Watch Could Measure Blood Pressure

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9to5 Mac reports today on news from Patently Apple that Apple has applied for a patent for a system that can measure a person’s blood pressure using just an Apple Watch with a band containing a special sensor.

Currently, it is only possible to take a person’s blood pressure by using an inflatable cuff that squeezes the arm to cut off circulation and then slowly deflates it, before then measuring the pressure. This time-honoured method does have its drawbacks, however, particularly for those people who suffer from white-coat syndrome, where simply being in the doctor’s office or hospital and feeling the cuff tighten can cause blood pressure to soar, thus preventing an accurate reading.

The patent that Apple published today uses pulse transit time (PTT) to measure blood pressure. This works by detecting the heartbeat, then the pulse at the wrist, and measuring how long it takes to get from the heart to the wrist.
“A wrist-worn device includes an accelerometer, a photo-plethysmogram (PPG) or a pulse pressure sensor, and a controller” writes Apple in the patent application. “The PPG or the pulse pressure sensor coupled to the wrist-worn device for detecting an arrival of a blood pressure pulse at the user’s wrist.”

With high blood pressure being the cause of so many diseases, and something that so many people have to monitor in order to prevent anything from kidney disease, strokes, and heart disease, coming up with a way to make this as routine as taking your pulse would be a game-changer for Apple. There are actually already several somewhat controversial apps on the App Store that already claim to do this, but were Apple to come up with a guaranteed method, it would surely carry much more weight.

Sources: Patent describes clever method allowing an Apple Watch to measure blood pressure

Apple is Developing Watch Technology to Detect Heart Abnormalities and now blood Pressure
 

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