Apple Watch Sleep Apnea Detection Feature Coming: Report

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has a new extensive report out today detailing Apple’s ambitions for the health sector with Apple Watch.

These plans for its Apple Watch in the health sector are marked by both ambition and caution, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. “The things that they’re trying to do are not easy,” said Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.

Bob Mansfield, Apple’s former chief of hardware engineering, emphasized the potential, stating to Bloomberg, “Health is a world of opportunity to help people.” However, Adrian Aoun, founder and CEO of Forward, a company that runs a chain of high-tech clinics, warned, “Health care is messy, and you have to get your hands dirty.”

The company’s cautious approach is driven by top executives’ concerns about potential risks. “Tim and Jeff are so terrified of doing something wrong and are focused on protecting the company’s image,” said one person, referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams. This caution has led to the scrapping or slowing down of various health projects, causing frustration among Apple’s engineers and doctors.

Despite these challenges, Apple continues to work on groundbreaking health-related projects. According to sources, the startup Avolonte, a project of Apple, aimed to develop a noninvasive blood sugar monitor. The company is also working on sleep apnea detection and hypertension monitoring features for the Apple Watch in 2024, plus AirPods as hearing aids.

Moreover, Apple has explored the concept of consumer medical clinics, known internally as Infinite Health. The idea was to build clinics across major cities, according to people familiar with the discussions. However, the company’s cautious approach is attributed to concerns about tarnishing Apple’s image and the complexities of health data collection.

A source briefed on the work by one of its leaders revealed a high level of ambition, stating, “The goal is not only to fix the prick problem but to change the global problem of diabetes.”

It’ll be interesting to see what major changes and features are coming to Apple Watch. For the most part, the design of the watch remains unchanged since its original debut and only the Apple Watch Ultra has offered a fresh look.

This year’s Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 saw minor updates, aside from a double tap feature that looks gimmicky. Apple knows the economy is in the gutter and consumers aren’t opening their wallets like before.

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