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New health features on the 2024 Apple Watch X could potentially save more lives

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, writing in his weekly “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, said that two new health features are coming to a future iteration of the Apple Watch. One will detect whether you have sleep apnea which is a serious medical condition where your breathing can stop and start overnight while sleeping. Those with this problem use a Continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) which pushes oxygen into your airway. The second feature is hypertension.

Both of these health concerns can lead to death. Hypertension is a fancy way of saying high blood pressure which could lead to a stroke and sleep apnea is also potentially fatal. So this fits in with the Apple Watch’s reputation as a device that can save lives. Current features that have saved Apple Watch users’ lives include the heart rate monitor, the electrocardiogram, the fall detector, and the crash detector.

The plan is for a future Apple Watch model, perhaps one of the 2024 Watch X models, to alert users if the timepiece detects that they have hypertension or sleep apnea and, if so, the device will recommend that users make an appointment for follow-up testing. And of course, work continues on technology that will allow Apple Watch users to monitor their blood glucose readings. Currently, insulin-dependent diabetics draw blood using a small needle-edged lancet. A drop of that blood is placed on a disposable test strip that is inserted into a machine called a glucometer to get a reading.

Like the iPhone X, the Apple Watch 10 will be called the Apple Watch X

With this reading, which is taken before each meal, a diabetic computes the right dosage of insulin to take which is important because taking too much insulin can cause the diabetic to pass out. Take too little insulin and over time the diabetic’s organs (including the eyes and heart) can be damaged. If Apple can come up with a non-invasive blood glucose sensor, it will take a lot of pain away from diabetics and save them from buying the expensive test strips since they can’t be reused.

Originally it was thought that the 2024 Apple Watch X would be redesigned, include micro-LED displays, and offer larger 1.89-inch and 2.04-inch screens. But in October, TF International’s reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said, “2024 Apple Watch will unlikely have significant innovative experiences.” Kuo says that this rules out the micro-LED display for 2024 and the non-invasive blood glucose sensor. Kuo says both of these features might also not be ready for the 2025 Apple Watch 11 line.

But Kuo doesn’t say whether the hypertension and sleep apnea features will surface next year. For his part, Gurman writes that at least one model of the 2024 Apple Watch series will have a new design. Gurman doesn’t see the current Apple Watch Series 9 selling strongly this holiday shopping season. However, he says that the upcoming health features, whenever they are added to the Apple Watch, should attract attention from consumers.

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