Forthcoming Apple Watch to include two notable healthcare functions, with coaching and health services also reportedly in the mix
Apple is reportedly going to deliver major changes for its next generation wearable device, the Apple Watch.
According to Bloomberg’s noted Apple leaker Mark Gruman, Apple is planning several new health-related features for 2024’s Apple Watch, coupled with a paid health service.
Gruman cited people familiar with the development as his source.
According to Gruman, in addition Apple AirPods will get hearing-aid capability and hearing tests, and there is also an AI health coach in the works.
The Wednesday report stated that Apple plans to introduce a new paid health service alongside a blood pressure sensor and a system for detecting sleep apnoea (sleep apnea in the US) in the Apple Watch next year.
Those features had previously been touted for a so-called ‘Apple Watch X’, a new high end device that was rumoured to include blood pressure monitoring. That device had been rumoured to arrive next year or 2025, in time for the tenth anniversary of the launch of the original Apple Watch in late 2014 and early 2015.
The Bloomberg report on Wednesday however reported that paid health coaching service could provide Apple with another way to develop recurring subscription revenues. The app will reportedly recommend workouts, presumably through its paid Fitness+ app, as well as eating plans.
It comes after Apple recently increased the monthly subscription prices for a number of its services.
It was recently announced that the cost of Apple TV Plus will go up by around a third: from $6.99 to $9.99, or from £6.99 to £8.99.
Apple also raised the cost of other services, with Apple Arcade going from $4.99 to $6.99, and Apple News Plus going from $9.99 to $12.99.
Apple’s services business is its second largest, behind the iPhone. It generated $19.6 billion in revenue during the third quarter, up 12 percent year over year, CNBC reported.
The health coaching service would obviously assist Apple in increasing the revenue stream for this segment.
According to the report, Apple’s blood pressure sensor will reportedly detect when a user’s blood pressure is elevated, but it won’t show their exact measurements.
Apple is working on introducing specific diastolic and systolic metrics in a future watch, the report said.
It should be noted that rival wearables from the likes of Samsung, already offer the option in some markets. Healthcare companies such as Omron also currently offer watches that can monitor blood pressure.
Next year’s Apple Watch will also reportedly monitor breathing and sleeping habits to predict if a person has sleep apnoea. This is potential a serious condition where breathing stops and starts during the night. The watch will reportedly recommend talking to a doctor if it detects potential sleep apnoea.
Apple in September had released the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 – that delivered only modest updates.
But during the launch, Apple repeatedly focused on on how the Apple Watch can help improve people’s health, and its promotional video featured a number of people who say the Apple Watch saved their lives, either by detecting heart rate changes or via Apple’s emergency SOS feature.