Prior to the official announcement of the Apple Watch, there were multiple rumors that the device would be packed with health-related sensors. When it finally launched, however, it got just a heart-rate monitor – albeit a sophisticated one. A teardown revealed that there’s also a pulse oximeter in there, to measure oxygen saturation in your blood, but Apple hasn’t yet activated that functionality.
The apparent turnabout on sensors was explained by Tim Cook, who last year told the Telegraph that Apple wanted to avoid the need for FDA approval as a regulated health product as that would slow innovation. Any additional sensors, he strongly hinted, would be external.
If you don’t want to wait that long, however, health-tech company Azoi has launched the Kito+, a credit-card sized unit that pairs with an iPhone app to measure heart-rate, ECG, blood oxygen, respiration rate and skin temperature. Costing £99 ($145), you can either use it as a standalone unit, or slot it into the supplied iPhone case for the iPhone 6/6s/Plus …
Biometric company’s lawsuit accuses Apple of underhand tactics to gain access to heart-rate tech for Apple Watch
Biometric specialist Valencell – whose technology is licensed by iRiver, LG, Sony and others – has filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of using underhand tactics to gain access to its patented technology for use in the Apple Watch.
The company claims that Apple violated three of its patents for improving the accuracy and reliability of heart-rate data when using the photoplethysmography (PPG) approach used in the Apple Watch. But the lawsuit alleges more than just patent infringement, reports AI: it also claims that Apple used deceptive techniques to get access to the technology …
Apple says Watch OS 1.0.1 attempts to record heart rate every ten minutes, but won’t if arm is moving
Apple Watch running the original 1.0 software rather reliably recorded a user’s heart rate every ten minutes. With Watch OS 1.0.1, users noticed that heart rate records were no longer being kept as frequently. This was initially thought to be a bug but Apple has now clarified that this is intended behaviour on its website.
The updated website says that ‘Apple Watch attempts to measure your heart rate every ten minutes, but won’t record it when you are in motion or your arm is moving’. The original version of this feature did not care about arm movement.
Apple’s update to Watch OS 1.0.1 was intended to improve the performance of several fitness-related functions, but also appears to have introduced a bug. Instead of the Apple Watch recording your heart rate every ten minutes, many users – including myself – are seeing large gaps in the data.
My readings for yesterday afternoon and evening, shown above, contain four gaps of more than an hour. Two of these gaps span times when I was cycling, when the data would have been most relevant. Users in an Apple Support Communities thread (via EverythingCafe) are reporting the same thing …
Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.
Apple Watch owners on Reddit and Twitter have been posting conflicting reports and video, some showing that the heart-rate functionality works fine with their tattoos, others showing either no reading at all or erratic readings …
Just ahead of the finalized Apple Watch’s presentation at Apple’s March 9th “Spring Forward” event, sources with hands-on Apple Watch experience have revealed a collection of new details about the device’s features to 9to5Mac. Our sources have offered new information on the Watch’s real-world battery life, health and fitness features, apps, and experiences using Apple’s next-generation touchscreen hardware…
Scanadu turns your iPhone into an electrocardiogram, urinalysis reader and future drug testing device
Scanadu cofounder Sam De Brouwer demonstrates the Scout and Scanaflo
At CES this week I met with a very interesting company called Scanadu which makes two interesting healthcare products that connect with the iPhone…
The Scanadu Scout (pictured, right) is a little electronic device designed by Yves Béhar that you touch to your forehead for a few seconds. Almost instantly, physiological parameters, including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure are sent to an app on your iPhone which logs these measurements and alerts users to anomalies and deviations which may be cause for heath concerns.
The Scout closed a $1.6M Indigogo funding round in 2013 and is still trying to push the product through the FDA as it tries to get deliveries to customers.
Perhaps more interesting however, Scnadu introduced its new “Scanaflo” device at CES 2015 which is a home urinalysis apparatus that uses your iPhone’s camera to image a set of colors strips.
With Apple Watch official and expected early next year, it’s likely too little, too late for Fitbit, but the company is finally moving beyond simple fitness bands to a fully-featured smartwatch in the form of the $250 Fitbit Surge.
The Surge is the company’s first device to display text messages on-screen, as well as the ability to control music on your iPhone. The move may explain rumored Apple plans to remove Fitbit from its stores (something which hasn’t yet happened), though these may also reflect the lack of Health app integration …
A day after Fitbit announces it has no plans to develop iOS 8 Health app integration, Withings Health Mate app adds HealthKit support. Withings, the makers of the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, Smart Body Analyzer scale, Aura an advanced sleep tracker, Pulse and Pulse Ox activity trackers adds extra measurements to the Health app.
With the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, you are able to track diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure. With the Smart Body Analyzer, you are able to track body fat percentage, body mass index, heart rate, and weight. With the Aura, you are able to analyze sleep. With the activity trackers Pulse and Pulse Ox you are able to track active calories, oxygen saturation, resting calories, sleep analysis, steps, and walking and running distance. Even if you do not have the Pulse or Pulse Ox, with the Withings HealthMate app you are able to track steps with the iPhone. In the latest update there were improvements made in activity tracking. Also, with the app using the camera you can measure your heart rate.
Since there is a lot of data that this app is tracking, you can now protect your data with Touch ID, which is a new added feature.
Misfit, the creator of the popular shine fitness tracking wearable, and Beddit, the creator of sleep analysis hardware, today announced a partnership that brings sleep tracking to Misfit’s iOS app. The Beddit is a thin strip-like sensor that you place under your bed sheets. It can track heart rate, respiration, movement, snoring, sound, and sleep cycles, and it will now connect to Misfit’s app. Apple’s iOS 8 Health app will feature sleep analysis, and Misfit says it has no current information regarding an integration for sleep analysis with the Health app. Apple’s upcoming iWatch is expected to include some sort of sleep analysis functionality as the company has brought on the world’s top expert in sleep analysis, Roy E. Raymann. Misfit today has also begun selling a branded version of the Beddit via its online store for $149.
Seven years out from the original iPhone’s introduction, and four years past the iPad’s launch, Apple has found its next market ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking industry. Apple’s interest in healthcare and fitness tracking will be displayed in an iOS application codenamed Healthbook. I first wrote about Apple’s plans for Healthbook in January, and multiple sources working directly on the initiative’s development have since provided new details and images of Healthbook that provide a clearer view of Apple’s plans for dramatically transforming the mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking space…
When Samsung unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 yesterday, the big news was the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner and heart rate sensor. The fingerprint scanning of course brings it up to par with Apple’s TouchID functionality, the standout feature and big selling point for the iPhone 5s. The heart rate sensor, however, is something not included in the current iPhone lineup and something Samsung will spend a lot of time marketing as fitness and health wearables like its new smartwatch lineup become big business in 2014. But did you know you can already measure your heart rate on iPhone using the device’s built-in camera?
A number of apps on the App Store, such the “Heart Rate Monitor” app just launched by PlusSports, allow you to accurately measure your heart rate by simply placing your face or fingertip in front of the camera lens. Another app available on the App Store that we’ve tested and works well is Instant Heart Rate. Popular fitness app maker Runtastic also has its own heart rate monitor and pulse tracker app.
The experience of using these apps is almost identical to the S5, which also forces the user to place a finger over a sensor on the back of the device and wait several seconds for a reading.
It’s possible Samsung would tell you that its built-in heart rate sensor is more accurate or feature-filled, but from our tests and reviews from others, the iPhone apps are remarkably accurate.