Latest Apple Watch could spot signs of Covid-19


Apple Watch Series 6 has been given a shot in the arm with blood oxygen measuring sensors that take it even further into the realm of personal physician and personal trainer on the wrist.

Apple wants the gadget to be the ultimate wellness device, with features including blood oxygen monitoring and an always-on altimeter joining measurements for pulse and heart health through electrocardiograms and the usual activity tracking that is now ubiquitous across modern smartwatches.


“Apple Watch Series 6 completely redefines what a watch can do,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With powerful new features, including a blood oxygen sensor and app, Apple Watch becomes even more indispensable by providing further insight into overall wellbeing.”

The sort of equipment normally reserved for accident & emergency is now squeezed into a wristwatch and tethered smartwatch apps.

ECG results and oxygen saturation data is combined with other information such as height, weight, activity levels and calories burned per day to build up a valuable profile of a person’s health.

A GIF of the Blood Oxygen sensor and app on Apple Watch Series 6.

All data is held in Apple’s Health App, so changes can be monitored over time.

Apple is collaborating with medical and scientific institutions to better understand how blood oxygen measurements and other Apple Watch metrics can help with management of heart failure and provide early warnings of respiratory conditions like influenza and Covid-19.

The back crystal of Apple Watch Series 6.
The Blood Oxygen sensor employs LEDs, along with photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch Series 6.

The upgrade to Series 6 brings better performance and power management. It also charges in under 1.5 hours and its battery will last longer. An always-on retina display is said to be 2.5 times brighter than Apple Watch Series 5.

There are more choices than ever including a new blue model joining silver, grey, red and gold aluminium case options.

Steel models are now available with a graphite or yellow gold finish, and top of the line Apple Watch Edition pieces come natural or black titanium.

Digital watch faces borrow from traditional watchmaking with seven new looks including chronographs and GMTs.

Prices start at £379 without a GPS and mobile broadband connection, or £479 with the full connectivity package.

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