Apple invention turns Apple Watch into a full-fledged medical device

“A patent application published Thursday suggests Apple is working to turn Apple Watch into a full-fledged medical device, one that can monitor a user’s vital signs and automatically send out an alert should they need urgent care,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s application for ‘Care event detection and alerts’ provides for a hardware system capable of monitoring its surrounding environment for so-called ‘care events,’ described as any event that necessitates assistance from medical personnel, police, fire rescue or other emergency technicians,” Campbell reports. “For example, the device could be programmed to monitor a user’s heart for an arrhythmia and, upon detection, send out an alert to family or emergency responders.”

Campbell reports, “While not specifically mentioned in the document, Apple Watch is uniquely qualified to fulfill the proposed system’s goals.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is Apple ready and willing to run the FDA gauntlet or is this just a patentable idea from earlier in Apple Watch’s development?

FDA ‘taking a very light touch’ on regulating the Apple Watch – March 30, 2015
As Apple Watch looms, U.S. FDA clarifies regulatory stance on health-tracking wearables – January 20, 2015
U.S. FDA details high-level meeting with Apple: ‘Moral obligation to do more’ with health, innovative sensors – June 9, 2014


    1. I suspect you don’t work in the medical industry. If you did, you would know that medical equipment has much higher standards, and costs, than consumer electronics. The Apple Watch is not, and will never be, a full-fledged medical device. It is a handy fashion-first accessory, and its capabilities may be enhanced to aid the user, but that’s where it ends.

      Also, the FBI doesn’t care about your medical records. Corporations that can sell you more pharma or insurance do. If it wasn’t for the federal government, there would be no such thing as privacy in healthcare.

      Interestingly, there is huge battle going on now — the medical equipment and pharma industry wants to crowdsource its tests wherever possible, largely by gathering non-anonymous user data and medical records in order to develop new products. There is some merit to large data, but the big bad FDA has prevented these companies from the worst overreaches in privacy. If Apple engages itself into the extremely profitable medical data-gathering industry, then you have to ask yourself whether they really do have user privacy at heart.

      Finally, in most cases the doctor finds it useful to be bombarded by customer-volunteered data that comes from their latest fitness tracker. Good data comes from calibrated instruments taking measurements in controlled conditions, with control over as many variables as possible. Or, as with blood sugar monitoring, it takes a clean sensor and a clean sample every time. It would be tough for Apple or the average patient to come up with methods that are more reliable than the medical devices that are specialized for the task.

    1. lol – says someone who obviously does not own one.

      My Apple Watch is a very well made, gorgeous device, that I use all the time & find to be very valuable.

      You should try one before you spout your inanities.

  1. Finally a reason that would get me to put something on my wrist. I suspect that many my age would wear the Apple Watch if it only notified my family. Then false alerts are something that would have minimum impact with a speakerphone conversation with one of my children. As long as I could set it up for a series of calls if there was no answer from the prior child.

  2. My church would buy ten for our elderly people who are still living at home, but prone to fall, or pass out because of low blood sugar. Hell, I’d buy them myself for those people.

    I HOPE HOPE HOPE this debuts in the next version of Watch. Really, I’ve even looked for an existing app that would monitor heart rate and send a text alert when it goes batty. Can’t even find that.

    Please Apple, this is life and death. Let’s do this asap.

  3. There are obviously lots of questions that arise with first responders.

    False alarms?

    Then the problem for patients and no alarms.

    False negatives

    Today, everyone wants to sue.

  4. My Dad passed out a few days ago. He is OK, but it would be great if I was immediately informed of this condition and call emergency if no response.

    The reason why he passed out was because he was dehydrated. Hopefully, the next Apple Watch or bands can detect hydration levels. It would be helpful to be notified when low hydration is triggered two or more times within a couple of hours or something.

  5. I have had the Apple Watch since day one.
    I love Apple.

    But I am very unhappy with the heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch. I started running and use several apps, both on the watch and on the iPhone, and the built in workout app on the Watch. I keep experimentally with different apps and combo of apps.

    I am ready to give up on the Watch for tracking my runs. I am waiting to see what comes out later this month. If it doesn’t look promising, I am going to look for another hr/fitness tracker. I will probably end up wearing two devices, one on each wrist. Come on Apple, don’t make me look like one of those guys.

  6. I am not happy my Health data on my iPhone is not backup to iCloud. The only way to backup Health data is to backup to your computer with encryption. But how many people do that regularly? If I lose my phone, I would lose a lot of my Health data. Plus I wish I could manually enter some health data in the cloud and have it sync with my Health app on my iPhone. For example when I go to the doctor and get my blood pressure checked, I would like to manually enter that online.

  7. As a diabetic, IF the “WatchII” can contain new technology that can make an educated guess at glucose levels (without inserting anything) I’ll buy one.

    I believe I read that Apple doesn’t want to bother with the FDA certification vis a vis reading glucose levels. In reply I would ask “Why bother?” Simply Indicate in advertising “this glucose function is sold as a novelty only…” and they are off the hook… I think ?

      1. @Derek Currie, thanks for your thought. Measuring glucose concentration in the blood at skin level has indeed failed… to date 🙂 What I was trying to communicate was IF AND WHEN Apple discovers the technology, I’d buy it.

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