In the future, your Apple Watch might detect more health trouble than an irregular heartbeat. Tipsters talking to 9to5Mac claim that Apple is working on the ability to detect blood oxygen levels through its wristwear. If your blood’s oxygen saturation fell below a certain threshold, you’d receive a notification much like you do now for unusual heart rates. It’s not certain if this will require new hardware or a software update, although our money’s on the former at the moment when Fitbit’s approach uses a mix of red and infrared sensors to detect oxygen variation.
The company is also said to be working on an improved ECG function that could properly deliver results in between 100 and 120 beats per minute.
There’s no guarantee the new features will appear with the next generation of Apple Watch hardware, let alone through a software update. Apple hasn’t been shy about wanting the Watch to serve as a vital health tool, however, and this could be more important than usual — low blood oxygen levels can increase the risk of heart and lung attacks. Add rumors of further features, like sleep tracking, and it may be more a question of when Apple adds more health functions than “if.”