2024 Apple Watch could pack two major new health features


Apple Watch Series 9 with Mulberry Sport Band on desk
2024 Apple Watch might pack some big upgrades.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly plans to launch a redesigned Apple Watch next year capable of detecting hypertension and sleep apnea.

Like the temperature sensor on recent Apple Watches, the next-gen model won’t provide exact blood pressure readings. Instead, it will only show if the blood pressure is elevated compared to the baseline reading. If the watch detects hypertension (or sleep apnea), it might recommend a doctor’s visit.

Apple Watch ‘X’ might detect hypertension and sleep apnea

Since shifting the Apple Watch’s focus to health and wellness, Cupertino has slowly but surely added new sensors and software that make the smartwatch more capable as a portal into a wearer’s overall health. The company added an ECG feature in Apple Watch Series 4. Apple followed that up with a blood oxygen sensor in Series 6 and a body temperature feature in Series 8.

However, this year’s Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 featured only iterative upgrades — a brighter screen, a faster S9 chip and a handy double-tap gesture. But none of those improvements seem big enough to make existing users upgrade to the new models. Due to this, Apple’s smartwatch sales could decline this holiday season.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman predicts the new health features of the 2024 Apple Watch will have “real marketing power.” Adding methods for detecting hypertension and sleep apnea — two serious health conditions that often fly under the radar — could attract new Apple Watch customers.

Gurman previously reported on the new Apple Watch sensor to detect high blood pressure.

“The initial system won’t show a user their exact systolic and diastolic measurements, but the company is working on a follow-up version for later that could,” he wrote in November. “This will be coupled with a new blood pressure journal so a user can notate what was happening when hypertension occurred.”

Big Apple Watch redesign could coincide with its 10th anniversary

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of a major Apple Watch overhaul in 2024. This would coincide with the Apple Watch’s 10th anniversary. (Apple tends to revamp products on their 10th anniversaries, like it did with the iPhone X in 2017.)

Given the Apple Watch has not received a significant overhaul since its launch in 2015, a redesign is long overdue.

A previous report indicated the next big Apple Watch redesign could bring a thinner case — the first major change to the smartwatch’s basic look. Plus, Apple reportedly is looking into a new magnetic connector for Apple Watch bands. This could allow the company to boost the size of the Apple Watch battery.


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