American tech giant Apple has filed a patent application for a wristband that can monitor blood pressure, according to documents made public last week.
The device may not be directly linked to the Apple Watch, but could be a new device altogether, and marks a transition for the company from creating healthcare apps to launching healthcare products.
The design the Silicon Valley company has applied for appears to be a cuff equipped with a sensor which would track the user’s blood pressure, alerting them when it goes too high or too low.
The patent application suggests the device may have a touchscreen, and might also be Bluetooth compatible.
The patent application reads:
“A blood pressure measurement system, comprising: a pressure sensor; an expandable member comprising a plurality of expandable cells, wherein the plurality of expandable cells comprises at least three expandable cells or at least two repeating expandable cells; and an expansion actuator configured to selectively expand the expandable member.”
The application patent also shows that the monitoring system may be located on a mobile device, like the Apple Watch, while the controller may be located on the same device or be on a separate device entirely, like a computer.
But although this would be a new healthcare-driven direction for Apple, the company will be competing with numerous other wearable blood-monitoring devices, some of which already include capabilities like Bluetooth-enabled monitors.
If it is included into the original Apple Watch, it could be part of major hardware changes to the device, which has remained largely the same since 2015.