Apple has been granted another patent (at least its sixth regarding using the Apple Watch to track blood pressure. The latest (number 10,702,171) is dubbed “systems, devices, and method for measuring blood pressure of a user.”
Elevated blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As a result, blood pressure measurement is a routine task in many medical examinations.
In the patent data, Apple notes that timely detection of hypertension can help inhibit related cardiovascular damage via accomplishment of effective efforts in treating and/or controlling the subject’s hypertension. The tech giant thinks the Apple Watch can help in this regard.
Here’s the summary of the patent: “The present invention generally relates to blood pressure monitoring. In some embodiments, methods and devices of measuring a mean arterial pressure are provided and/or monitoring blood pressure changes. A wrist-worn device may include a plurality of sensors backed by a plurality of actuators. Subsets of the plurality of sensors may be selectively actuateable against a wrist of a user using one or more of the plurality of actuators.
“A preferred sensor and location may be identified based on pressure signals received from each of the sensors. In some embodiments, devices may use a fluid bladder coupled with piezoelectric film sensors. A fluid bladder pressure sensor may be used to calibrate the piezoelectric film signal to provide a static and dynamic pressure reading. In yet another embodiment, a mean arterial pressure may be calculated by processing a swept pressure signal obtained as a sensor is swept through different heights.”