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This is how Apple could get you to upgrade to the next Apple Watch this year

Apple could offer blood pressure monitoring on the next Apple Watch, but will it have FDA approval?
By

Published onMarch 18, 2024

An Apple Watch Series 9 on a users wrists displays their Move stats.
TL;DR
  • The new Apple Watch is reportedly coming in the fall with blood pressure monitoring.
  • Apple would join Samsung and a few other brands in offering the feature.
  • It seems like this new feature won’t have FDA approval just yet.

Apple is working on a new Apple Watch for the fall that will offer blood pressure monitoring, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman in his latest newsletter.

Not much else was shared in the newsletter regarding the new Apple Watch, presumably called the Apple Watch Series 10 or Series X, but Bloomberg previously reported on Apple’s overall healthcare strategy in 2023.

Gurman previously reported that, using a new sensor, the upcoming Apple Watch would be able to detect and alert users of elevated blood pressure but wouldn’t show users their exact systolic and diastolic readings. That feature will likely come in later Apple Watch versions.

Unfortunately for current Apple Watch users, the new feature will not be available for existing models as they will apparently require the new sensor to function.

Why Apple took this long to offer blood pressure monitoring

Apple’s cautious approach to introducing a blood pressure monitoring feature may be due to the strict governmental oversight of medical technologies in the US.

Though it’s easy to spot wearables currently offering blood pressure monitoring as a “wellness” feature, most are not FDA-approved. The FDA has strict approval requirements that must be met before any device receives medical clearance, as incorrect readings could present serious health risks for users.

Samsung has technically introduced a blood pressure monitoring feature as early as 2019 with the Galaxy Watch Active 2, but the company still only sells versions of its smartwatches without the blood pressure monitoring feature in the US.

This is the case for most smartwatches that offer a blood pressure measuring feature, with the only notable exception being the Omron HeartGuide Blood Pressure, which has received FDA clearance as a medical device.

Why blood pressure monitoring on the Apple Watch could be a big deal

Judging by Bloomberg’s reporting, it sounds like the first iteration of Apple’s blood pressure monitoring may be a “wellness” feature with the possibility of future versions receiving FDA approval.

If Apple gets FDA clearance, the company can potentially bring life-saving technology to the US market, where an estimated half of all adults have high blood pressure.

Apple has a history of reinventing existing technologies to introduce them into the mainstream as something revolutionary — a la the iPod, iPad, and Vision Pro. So it would be exciting to see how the company could shake up healthcare tech.

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