Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing

“Last week, my life changed. Shortly after our kids went to school, my wife stopped breathing in our home. I was able to get her breathing again, and thanks to 911 and outstanding EMTs, she survived to be diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a rare heart condition that typically goes undetected before a massive, fatal attack,” Jeremy Horwitz writes for 9to5Mac. “Once Brugada was suspected, doctors looked for records of her heartbeat, but couldn’t find much on file. Between ER and ICU visits, I remembered that her iPhone’s Health app contained three months of heart rate data, because her Apple Watch had been passively recording it. But would that data actually be useful?”

“Given what my wife just went through, I have a newfound appreciation for the Apple Watch’s existing heart rate sensor, and a strong request for Apple: Be bold on expanding Apple Watch’s health features, as well as its ability to be continuously worn,” Horwitz writes. “It’s nice for a watch to estimate calories burned after a workout, but merely having advance notice of her irregular heart rate could have prevented my wife’s near-death experience, and who knows how many other lives better sensors could save.”

“With a handful of improvements, I’m certain that Apple will win some additional purchases from my household, as well as many others,” Horwitz writes. “And it will probably go from assisting with exercise to quantifiably saving some lives along the way.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: First off, we wish Horwitz’s wife the best of health.

Now, the ability to wear Apple Watch while swimming – Apple condoned and backed – would be huge. We have worn them during showers with no ill effects. Having a battery that lasts longer and recharges faster in order to measure sleep as well as it already measures during waking hours. But, chemistry and battery technology being what it is, we wouldn’t hold our breath for that. More and better sensors are our strongest hope for Apple Watch 2.

29 Comments

  1. The way to make the Apple Watch last through the night would be for Apple to develop a nighttime band with large batteries. You would leave the nighttime band on a charger during the day. At night you switch bands and the nightime band both charges the Watch and keeps in running in a nightime mode monitoring your sleep and acting as a nightstand on your wrist.

        1. Ideas aren’t supposed to be patentable, only implementations of the idea. However as messed up as the U.S. patent system is, we all know lots and lots of unpatentable things have been/are being patented.

    1. Good Idea what about going 1 further and putting the or a Battery in the band then you could have 1 band on the charger and 1 on the watch. Put a connector where the band attaches to the watch and the band could then pass some power to the watches battery.

    2. Joel S:

      Terrible idea:

      -Too much work for the consumer to have to change bands. It’s unweidly;
      -Superfluous: this is no way to develop and evolve a product. If nighttime wearing is a feature needed by users, then it needs to be integrated into the product. For example, the product needs to have a combination of better battery life and a very low power mode in nighttime mode. In other words, a combination of hardware/software development;
      -Your solution isn’t even as good as what exists today, like a Fitbit which is a band that you can wear for several days including at night to track sleep. No need to “switch” bands or anything like that, etc.; and
      -Making a band with “large batteries” doesn’t sound like a minimal band. What you’re saying has no regard for software improvements and the requirement for software, as well as improvements in sensor technology.

      You clearly have no product development experience.

    3. I put my watch on the charger a couple of hours before bed to top it off, then wear it through the night. It discharges ~1.5% per hour during the night idling on my wrist. The watch will recharge at ~1% per minute in the morning, which is easily accomplished while showering/getting dressed in the morning.

      I see no need for a special band for sleeping.

  2. Rather than put extra weight, bulk, and complexity in the Watch to handle health monitoring during sleep, Apple (or maybe an authorized third party) should create a less-expensive sensor that provides the same data as Apple Watch for health monitoring.

    It does not have a display. It only needs minimal processing capability and Bluetooth (like an iPod nano). It connects wirelessly to your nearby iPhone, and the iPhone does all the hard work or receiving and processing health data from sensor. In effect, your iPhone runs an app that makes it an health-focused Apple Watch with a separate wrist sensor.

    It charges using Apple Watch’s charger, just swap wrist sensor and Apple Watch. Always wear one, while the other is on charger. Apple health sensor – a $99 Apple Watch accessory.

      1. Errmm…guys…sensor ring(patent pending)?
        Increased functionality means more battery drain and it ain’t happening any time soon. The ‘sensor ring’ thing could be worn all night and just pair with the Watch and iPhone maybe hourly and then quick charged while you shower. I would buy that.

        1. “The fairly comprehensive patent application, titled “Devices and methods for a ring computing device” and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, describes an advanced ring-style wearable that uses voice, motion and touch input to control and interact with larger computing devices.

          In many ways, the claims read like an overview of Apple Watch, but distilled into a much smaller form factor. While there are disparities between Apple’s ring computer and production hardware — front- and user-facing cameras among the most audacious — the document outlines a number of capabilities currently being marketed as tentpole Apple Watch features like heart rate monitoring and inductive charging. The application falls short of name dropping Watch, but notes the ring device might be used as a stand-in for a “smart watch” crown mechanism.”

    1. Yes. I picked up a Zeo Sleep Personal Sleep Coach at a cheap price on Ebay after they went under. Too expensive but a great idea. Used a rechargeable Bluetooth headband sensor to track brain wave data and sent it to the base unit where it was recorded, date and time stamped to an SD card.

      Seems to be close but not perfect on sleep stages.

      The main point for here was rechargeable sensor, bluetooth connectivity, base unit does the heavy lifting.

  3. Instill think a smart band is the missing piece. Put a few sensors in the band and have the band charge from the watch. At night you leave the band on, but disconnect the watch to recharge. Is that clear? Essentially make a band you never take off. Wear it all day. Wear it all night. Wear it in the shower and with every activity. The watch face is where the screen is. Have it be detachable and chargable.

    That’s one way to get to the endgame. I’ll be shocked if it’s not implemented, but it may take a few more years.

  4. I have an AliveCor ECG thingy attached to the back of my iPhone. It’s a single-trace ECG recording device. Costs only $75 and really works. I measure once in the morning, takes 30 secs, or whenever you feel odd, faint, or something. It’ll record your ECG and then you send it in to be read immediately by AliveCor’s techs or cardiologist for anywhere from $2 to $12.

    Having said that, a Brugada Syndrome trace is very distinctive and even a layman would know that it doesn’t look normal.

  5. Of course a good intention… But, some day everyone has to leave. And it also gets more and more obvious that, for humans sake, we all should stop to absolutely want to live too long. Overpopulation is not a myth and going on with “to grow and multiply”, we’re all doomed.

    1. Oh…My…God. Alum – why don’t you be a good little Marxist and help the masses by leaving now AND not having children before you do so.
      I am SOOOO tired of this Marxist claptrap – Climate Change (like climate has ever NOT changed), Global Warming (no warming in 19 years now), Carbon is a “pollutant” – ONLY a mind numb Statist can actually believe that one, “The Earth has a Fever (gotta love AlGore for that one – especially as he jets from one of his mansions to another), and so on, and so on, and so on.

      I cannot WAIT until the Statists are defeated in the upcoming election (assuming the illegal vote can be controlled) and adults FINALLY take over and open up the great country’s potential again.

      BuhBye Oblamao….

  6. Hi from Belgium. I use my Apple Watch since 4 months under the shower, in the sea, swim up to 3 meters deep with my watch without any problem! So concerning me, it’s enough waterproof. The only thing that doesn’t work while you’re in the water is the speaker and loudspeakers, they have to be dry to use.

  7. I wear mine every day (starting just after 6AM) and sleep with it. When my alarm goes off at 5, put my Apple watch on the charger until after I shower and make coffee. It’s generally at 95% by then and I’m ready for another day. I always sleep with it.

    1. I’ve tried that too and generally works well. The key thing is to remember to charge it in the morning. Also useful to have another charger at work.
      I need to find a good watch app to monitor sleep patterns etc.

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