Apple hones in on adding advanced health & wellness features to their smartwatches in 2022.
As anxious Apple fans wait for the big reveal of the company’s seventh smartwatch, insiders believe that in the near future, Apple will further their position in the wearable tech industry with a continued and advanced focus on health and wellness.
While the upcoming Apple Watch 7 is unlikely to have any new health sensor functionalities, Apple is determined to change that in the near future. In 2022, Apple is reportedly looking to reveal helpful and health-focused features such as a fertility tracker, an alert for increasing blood pressure, and temperature readings. The tech company also plans to upgrade the irregular heartbeat monitoring system and improve upon the existing sleep cycle tracking.
Tracking blood-oxygen levels may have been a handy feature of Apple’s smartwatches during the pandemic, but Apple is now focusing on basal temperature. The ability to check temperatures works in conjunction with the fertility feature, giving insight into ovulation. Another future plan for Apple is to increase features for heart health. Monitoring atrial fibrillation will provide users with an indicator of a possible heart issue but, like many of the advanced features, is not approved yet by the FDA.
As for the future Apple Watch 7’s unveiling, some speculate that production issues may hamper Apple’s latest wearable roll-out, with supply and shipping delays being two of the causes. Upgrades to the new watch, such as a larger screen and faster processor, are also reportedly the cause of a possible manufacturing delay. Apple famously holds September events presenting its latest gadgets, and such setbacks may put the annual fall event on hold.
Looking ahead past 2022, one key indicator in Apple’s longer-term goal is the current campaign for the Series 6 watch: “The future of health is on your wrist.” In the quest to become the most groundbreaking wellness wearable on the market, Apple is rumored to be quietly toiling with a glucose-reading sensor to monitor diabetes, blood alcohol levels, and a component to check for sleep apnea. Such innovations could help assist the 34.2 million adults in America who have diabetes and reach the 1 in 5 Americans who don’t even know they have the condition.
In preparation for its health-focused approach, Apple has reportedly sent out surveys to cultivate data on how users monitor their health with their smartwatches. Apple wanted to know what apps users installed to track food intake, glucose levels, and the most used features.
It would appear that Apple’s eye on the health and wellness sector may go further than wearables. In a 2019 interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, CEO Tim Cook indicated the plan for Apple, stating, “I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’ It will be about health.” The company is also reportedly interested in launching clinics that use the health data from Apple devices in the practices.
According to an April 2021 market research report, the wearable technology industry will grow to be worth 265.4 billion by 2026.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.