Friday, July 29, 2022

Health Sensors On the iPhone - Great Ways for Apple To Get Users To Upgrade Than Annual Processor and Camera Improvements

 I can go for a year or two without a new iPhone because I think I'm not missing much when it comes to the incremental upgrades between one iPhone and the subsequent one. Better processor is great as is improved camera but for my daily needs, I just do not see the difference. However, I believe that Apple can get users to upgrade more often if Apple upgrades the iPhone with health related sensors. 

I am sure you already know that there are apps that can measure your heart rate - press your index finger up against the flash on the camera and it is able to read how fast your heart is beating. I've also seen one done through the selfie camera. 

However, I think there are other sensors that Apple can add to the iPhone that can make the iPhone a health companion the way the Apple Watch is for me and tens of millions of users. I am not expecting a Baymax when I mentioned companion. At least not yet. Perhaps one day.

But until that day, I think I can settle some health sensors that are already on the Apple Watch, even some that Apple might have working but have yet to incorporate them into the Apple Watch because of technical reasons because the Watch is so small where as the iPhone could potentially have more room for Apple to fit in biometric sensors.

  • A dedicated heart rate sensor would be nice but I feel that would be redundant since we can already use the camera and the flash for that reason.
  • An oximeter would be great. Given the importance of blood oxygen level as it is related to COVID pandemic which shows no sign of abating, I imagine this would be a must have feature for iPhone users. 
  • Temperature - there are rumors that the next watch may include temperature sensors. I'm not hopeful that Apple will add a new health feature this year. However, having temperature sensor that allows the iPhone to act as a thermometer would be pretty cool. Rumors suggest that Apple's current idea of the body temperature gauge can only tell if you have an abnormal body temperature (like a fever) as opposed to the actual body temperature, I think adding something like this to the iPhone would be perfect. And because the iPhone is larger, maybe Apple can add a bigger sensor that is able to tell the temperature of the users' bodies.
  • I'm lump these features in together because we only know that Apple is working on them but are no where near ready: blood pressure, glucose level, more advanced heart monitoring, and possiblydiagnostic tools that might detect early signs of health related issues. The last one is where the iPhone is more like Baymax.

I can imagine more than a few doctors who would not mind having an iPhone that can help them with basic diagnosis or gather health data on their patients for the sake of saving times, costs, and, not to mention, lives. 

I do my basic breathing, check up on my blood oxygen, and, once in a while, use the ECG app on my watch. If I did not have an Apple Watch and Apple added those functions to the iPhone, it would entice many iPhone users to upgrade their iPhones just to get those functions. Plus, many Android users would probably want to switch. It would not preclude these iPhone owners from also buying an Apple Watch as well. 

On top of that, Apple would be saving a lot of lives as well. And if Apple wants to make sure that an iPhone with health functions do not prevent users from buying Apple Watches, Apple can limit it only to the iPhone Pro Max. 

Could this happen? I think so. On top of the rumors of what Apple is doing with health for the Apple Watch, there is rumblings that future AirPods could also gain health related functions as well. 

What do you think? Do you want an iPhone that also keeps you healthy?

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