Apple has big plans for the Apple Watch and the tiny sensors embedded within. We’ve known that ever since a team of doctors took center stage to introduce Apple Watch software, but a new report sheds a little more detail on what Apple’s plans look like.

According to a report in Bloomberg (although not from famous Apple sage Mark Gurman), Apple is working on at least two standalone apps for the Apple Watch, with the aim being to turn the Watch and associated HealthKit platform “into a tool that improves diagnoses.” It’s a long way from facilitating Candy Crush, that’s for sure.

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The report cites “people familiar with the [HealthKit] team’s plans,” and explains the details of two apps that are in the works. One is to track sleep patterns, which would be cool, if you didn’t have to take the watch off every night to recharge.

The other is meant to gauge users’ overall fitness levels by calculating how long your heart rate takes to go from peak to resting level. If you combine that data with information about users’ sex, height, and weight, you get a very accurate picture of their recovery rate. That, in turn, is a good surrogate for overall health and fitness.

Measuring recovery is something that professional athletes and trainers have been doing for a while now, but putting those kinds of smarts into a device that every person is meant to wear on their wrist every day is something else.

The broader scope of Apple’s plans, at least according to Bloomberg, is to insert its software and hardware into the hospital system. That’s likely to be a longer-term ambition, but as everyone stops buying ‘boring’ iPhones, Apple is hoping that the reveneue from the healthcare can keep sustaining its giant piles of cash.


Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.