Apple has been granted a second patent (number 20170340209) for using an Apple Watch to monitor blood pressure. This one is dubbed “blood pressure monitoring using a multi-function wrist-worn device.” The first (number 20170293727) for a “user device” for “intelligent blood pressure monitoring.”
The newly granted patent provides non-invasive devices, methods, and systems for determining a pressure of blood within a cardiovascular system of a user, the cardiovascular system including a heart and the user having a wrist covered by skin. It discloses a variety of wrist-worn devices — various smartwatch models — having a variety of sensors configured to non-invasively engage the skin on the wrist of the user for sensing a variety of user signals from the cardiovascular system of the user.
The goal is to passively track blood pressure values without any interaction required on the part of the user or may allow for on demand or point measurements of blood pressure values by having a user actively interact with the sensors of the wrist-worn device. The invention further allows for absolute blood pressure values to be determined directly without the requirement for any periodic calibrations or for relative blood pressure values to be tracked so as to provide relative blood pressure indices.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that current ambulatory and home blood pressure measurement approaches fail to provide continuous measurement of blood pressure. The tech giant thinks its invention offers “convenient and effective approaches for noninvasive continuous measurement of blood pressure.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.