After ECG, Apple Watch can now read blood pressure using Force-Touch

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Apple grabbed the attention of its users and critics alike at its annual event where they announced new iPhones, MacBooks. But the highlight of the event had to be the Apple Watch Series 4 and its new feature which helps the user to take ECG readings with the accuracy rate of more than 98%. What is more shocking is that the FDA cleared the feature.

The new Apple watch proves to be a great threat to traditional watchmakers. Now that Apple has added new health features older people too may want to switch to Apple watches instead of the traditional ones. A report suggested that blood pressure reading using Apple’s 3D Touch or Force Touch technology could be just as easy as taking the ECG reading using the Apple Watch Series 4.

Taking blood pressure reading requires a small arm cuff but the WSJ report suggested that 3D Touch may be adapted as a replacement of that on electronic devices. Optical and force sensors are already available on many electronic devices, especially on smartphones. Dr. Mukkamala and another set of authors showed that these sensors, which are now used for taking selfies and for displaying a 3D touch feature, can be used to take blood pressure reading. They have already gone forward with this idea and developed an iPhone app that calculates blood pressure by guiding the fingertip placement. However, the test results were obviously not as accurate as the arm cuffs. In fact, the test results shown by the app were less accurate than the arm cuff. In spite of its inaccuracy, Dr. Mukkamala says that it was comparable to a finger cuff.

There is a similar tech, in the Apple Watch, which is named Force Touch. The name itself suggests that the Apple watch may be capable of taking a blood pressure reading. However, the materialization of the idea is going to be a lot harder than it sounds. In order to successfully take a blood pressure reading, Apple will have to come up with a non-invasive device to do so.

Sunghoon Jang, chair of the department of computer engineering tech at NY City College of Technology at CUNY, in a paper published earlier this year surveyed a dozen emerging devices which deal with both blood and other bodily fluids. But Dr. Jang acknowledged the fact that developing alternatives to more invasive ways of measuring glucose can be really difficult.

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