A new patent “Stretchable Blood Pressure Cuff” granted to Apple by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes a mechanism to measure blood pressure via an Apple Watch. As per the filing, an expandable cuff attached to the smartwatch would be used to obstruct blood flow and measure blood pressure.
The current Apple Watch can measure users’ heart rate and Series 4 or later models can detect undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). As blood pressure measuring requires a cuff, the Cupertino tech giant has not been able to introduce the feature yet. But it has been exploring ways to introduce blood pressure monitoring and biometrics.
Previously, the company was granted an “electrical coupling of pulse transit time (PTT) measure system to heart for blood pressure measurement” patent which described new sensors to calculate blood pressure via pulse transit time.
Apple Watch could feature an inflatable cuff to measure blood pressure
Apple is exploring a new way for users to take their blood pressure via their Apple Watch. The new filing details that a special watch band containing fluid in chambers can be used as a cuff to monitor blood pressure.
Embodiments include a blood pressure measurement device that includes a cuff for measuring blood pressure of a user. The cuff may include a bladder assembly configured to retain a fluid within an internal chamber where the bladder assembly is formed from a first cell defining a first portion of the internal chamber that is connected with a second cell defining a second portion of the internal chamber.
The cuff band would deflate and regain its length after the volume of the fluid decreases.
The bladder assembly can also include a fluid passage that is in fluid communication with the first cell and the second cell and coupled with a reservoir. The bladder assembly can exchange the fluid with the reservoir and be configured to increase in length when a volume of the fluid in the internal chamber decreases, and decrease in length when the volume of the fluid in the internal chamber increases.
The technology is expected to debut in Apple Watch Series 8 along with other new biometrics like monitoring glucose, alcohol, and hydration levels.