Apple has been boosting the health features on its Apple Watch smartwatch for quite some time now with the inclusion of an ECG sensor, as well as additional health-tracking features.
That’s why it’s no wonder that a lately filed patent shows Apple is working on adding new health sensors into the Apple Watch.
As stated by Apple Insider, the new sensors could help observe and treat Parkinson’s Disease. They would work by checking the movements of the wearer and evaluating the data using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).
Parkinson’s Disease is considered by several symptoms, including dyskinesia and tremor. This is an involuntary and uncontrollable movement, which may look like swaying or twitching.
The new offered sensors detailed in the patent would not be used to identify Parkinson’s Disease. Rather, the technology would offer useful monitoring of the movements related to dyskinesia and tremors, which could offer valuable awareness to healthcare providers.
“It provides all-day symptom/rigorous tracking information and provides a clinical tool for assessing patient response to medication,” Apple mentions in the patent application. It could also progress the quality of life of the wearer and allow them to “better plan activities around symptom patterns.”
Till now, those with Parkinson’s Disease make a log of symptoms themselves. Though Apple believes this type of self-reporting can be wrong, which is why the company recommends “passive tracking of tremor and dyskinesia symptoms using a wearable computer.”
Even though sensors to monitor Parkinson’s Disease could be a daring next step for Apple, it’s worth keeping in mind we do see a lot of new patent applications being recorded every week – they don’t always make it into finished outcomes.
Though, even if this specific technology isn’t incorporated into a future version of the Apple Watch, it points to a specific and an interesting, health focus for Apple’s wearable technology moving onwards.