Patent: Apple Watch could detect heart attacks.

A patent application published yesterday describes how the Apple Watch and the iPhone could work together to detect medical emergencies like heart attacks. According to the patent, both devices would be coordinated so that while one detects the attack, the other automatically calls 112 so that the patient can be attended to as quickly as possible.

Although the text of the patent does not explicitly mention the Apple Watch or the iPhone, the fact that it refers to two devices that cooperate with each other seems to indicate that it is both Apple devices:

An emergency is detected by an electronic device that measures environmental data and/or user data from one or more sensors (the Apple Watch in this case). It transmits one or more alerts regarding the detected emergency to at least one other electronic device (the iPhone in this case). In some cases, the first device may cooperate with at least one other in monitoring, detecting and/or transmitting the emergency.

Patent: Apple Watch could detect heart attacks

Apple explains that this new function could detect a wide range of emergency situations and take appropriate measures depending on their severity – which would range from sending an email or message to a family member to the extreme of calling 112 directly. in the most urgent of cases.

Events of care can include anything from a car accident, motorcycle accident, medical emergency, to a heart attack or aneurysm, the separation of a child from their caregiver, the loss of a patient with dementia, an avalanche, a fall, theft, fire or any other event for which a user may require medical, police, family, rescue or other assistance.

Patent: Apple Watch could detect heart attacks

The patent suggests that the Apple Watch and the iPhone would work together to detect emergencies and notify family members or ambulances.

The specific example discussed in the headline of the article describes a heart attack. The Apple Watch accelerometer would detect a sudden movement in the patient together with the loss of reading of the patient’s heartbeat. In this case, the system would use this combination of factors to determine that a heart attack is occurring.

There is an obvious risk of false alarms, for this reason the patent describes a variety of ways in which they can be avoided. These range from asking the user to respond first (“through voice commands, movements or gestures such as a head movement captured by the camera”) to the use of the patient’s geographic information.

Patent: Apple Watch could detect heart attacks

The electronic device may use location information from a GPS device to determine that the electronic device is present at a bungee jumping facility, for example. Based on such a determined location, the electronic device could determine that something strange has happened if the acceleration data indicated so.

Apple has to be extremely careful when it comes to medical apps for the Apple Watch to avoid the need for FDA approval. While the FDA has mentioned that it is taking an “almost a hands-off approach” on fitness-oriented wearables like the Apple Watch, Tim Cook has indicated that concerns about these stem from Apple not wanting to pack too many sensors into the watch. .

Patent: Apple Watch could detect heart attacks

It’s worth noting that the Apple Watch is already contributing to ResearchKit health studies, such as the SleepHealth app launched last week.