Though the original Apple Watch was seemingly positioned as a high-tech fashion accessory, it’s since become overwhelmingly clear that the device’s health and fitness features are what many consumers enjoy most about Apple’s wearable. As a result, Apple has continued to invest heavily in the Apple Watch as part of a concerted effort to make it an even more appealing and helpful health and fitness monitor.
That said, a new report from Bloomberg relays that future iterations of the Apple Watch may include advanced heart-monitoring technology better equipped at detecting and alerting users to potentially serious heart conditions. Specifically, Apple is said to be working on a feature that would effectively enable users to take quick EKG and ECG measurements directly from their wrist.
“A version being tested requires users to squeeze the frame of the Apple Watch with two fingers from the hand that’s not wearing the device,” the report reads. “It then passes an imperceptible current across the person’s chest to track electrical signals in the heart and detect any abnormalities like irregular heart rates.”
Of course, the current version of the Apple Watch already boasts a heart rate sensor, and we’ve already seen a number of stories highlighting how the feature has helped save lives. Most recently, a user keeping track of his heart rate via the Apple Watch noticed that his heart rate was abnormally high, ultimately prompting him to seek medical attention. Doctors soon discovered that he was suffering from a blood clot in the lungs, otherwise known as a pulmonary embolism. Had he not been wearing the Apple Watch, the condition would have been fatal.
So what’s the advantage in Apple incorporating more advanced technologies to track and measure user heart rates? Well, the technology Apple is working on would be better at anticipating heart problems as opposed to just alerting users to when something is currently amiss.
“An EKG would make it easier to establish the health of a user’s heart, and potentially spot some cardiac problems early,” the report adds.
There’s no telling when or if the aforementioned feature will actually appear in a shipping version of the Apple Watch, but it’s clear that Apple views health monitoring as a cornerstone feature of the Apple Watch user experience.