10 ways Apple plans to revolutionize health tracking, according to a report

The most popular Apple products will double as hearing aids, glucose monitors, sleep apnea detectors, and more.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple has been consistently injecting itself into the health and wellness sector, with its products helping with everything from fitness tracking to family planning. And now a new Bloomberg report suggests Apple has several projects that will significantly expand those offerings across all their devices. 

Bloomberg analysts Mark Gurman and Drake Bennett took a deep dive into all the upcoming projects that Apple has under wraps and which have the potential to revolutionize healthcare

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At the heart of all of these projects is the aim of helping people grasp a better understanding of their health data, with the development of new metrics and technology that could allow users to detect issues early on. 

You can find a roundup of all of the features by device below. 

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 9 Colors
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Unsurprisingly, the Apple Watch, already an essential device for health and wellness tracking for many people, will home most of the new health features. 

In addition to tracking heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep, respiratory rate, and wrist temperature, the Apple Watch could soon also monitor blood pressure and blood glucose. 

Apple has been working on developing blood glucose monitoring since as early as 2011. Now, Apple has made significant improvements and, as a result, may be nearing the implementation of the technology into its Apple Watch. 

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To take blood glucose measurements, users typically have to prick their skin. Therefore, developing a non-invasive way to read a person's glucose levels would be a massive game-changer for diabetics. 

According to the report, when first implemented, the blood glucose system would determine how a person's blood sugar is trending instead of providing exact numbers. The systems would use those trends to warn users of prediabetes risk. 

Similarly, the first iteration of the blood pressure sensor would let users know if their blood pressure is trending upward and give users the option to journal when the hypertension occurred, according to the report. 

Then, the user would be prompted to talk to their doctor or monitor their blood pressure using a traditional instrument. 

The report says the Apple Watch might also have a sleep apnea detection feature that would use a person's sleep and breathing patterns to estimate whether the person has the condition.  

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Besides adding new features, Apple may expand the existing technology on the watch to deliver more functionality. 

For example, the Apple Watch's thermometer, which is currently only used for fertility tracking, could be used to detect fevers, too.

The company is also reportedly seeking health regulatory approval to interpret blood oxygen data. Right now, the Watch shows users oxygen blood data without telling them what it means. 


AirPods Pro are seen with books here.
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Although Apple's different AirPod models do an excellent job at fulfilling users' listening needs, they have strayed away from the health and wellness field. However, that position might be changing soon. 

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According to the report, if all goes to plan, AirPods will be able to double as over-the-counter hearing aids by next year. This development will make it easier for hard-of-hearing users to access the aid they need.

Additionally, the AirPods will be able to perform hearing tests that are typically performed in an audiologist's office, which will make it simpler for users to access care without leaving their homes. 

Vision Pro 

Apple Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro was announced on June 5, 2023.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Of course, Apple's latest and most futuristic technology, the Vision Pro, will also be receiving some of the health upgrades. 

According to the report, Apple is working on new anti-anxiety and enhanced meditation features for the Vision Pro, as well as a virtual reality system that reinforces positive thinking. 

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The company will also be using the existing sensors in the device to scan a wearer's eyes for cognitive health data. 

Lastly, a headset version of Fitness+ might appear, so long as Apple can figure out a way for the headset to track a person's leg movements. 

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