The Apple Watch is a health and fitness-centric smartwatch that features a collection of sensors used to detect some of the wearer’s vital signs, but is blood pressure monitoring supported? Apple’s lineup of smartwatches includes health features that can vary based on the model and series, and the company typically improves on these with each upgrade. The Apple Watch SE, a cheaper version of the smartwatch with slightly limited features, has its own functionalities separate from the standard Apple Watch.
Though the Apple Watch features a collection of health sensors — from a heart rate sensor to an electrocardiogram to a blood oxygen sensor — true blood pressure monitoring is not supported on the smartwatch. A few applications claim to provide the functionality, but they fall short unless an external blood pressure monitor is connected. As per Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple plans to add blood pressure monitoring to the Apple Watch in the future along with other health sensors. These include blood glucose monitoring and blood alcohol tracking, but some of these features require government approval before being released to the public.
View BP Data On Apple Watch With An App
The Apple Watch doesn’t provide a blood pressure monitor, but it does include a heart rate sensor and an electrocardiogram. This is good news for people concerned about hypertension, since heart rate and blood pressure have a positive correlation, according to a study by the University of Minnesota (via NCBI). Researchers concluded that “elevated heart rate is associated with increased peripheral blood pressure, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and is modifiable.” That means Apple Watch users might be able to get an idea of their blood pressure state through heart rate readings. However, if someone is concerned about their blood pressure or needs to track it for health reasons, using appropriate medical equipment is recommended.
There are also legitimate ways to track blood pressure using an Apple Watch, even though it isn’t possible on-device. Third-party blood pressure monitors from brands like QardioArm, Withings, and iHealth can connect to Apple’s Health app on the iPhone to provide blood pressure data. This data can then be viewed on the wearer’s wrist with an Apple Watch app, which can be useful for constant monitoring. They work similarly to other health monitors, like constant glucose monitors, that continually collect data that can be viewed on Apple Watch.
Although the Apple Watch doesn’t include a blood pressure monitor yet, it can still provide a solid picture of the wearer’s heart health. Apple Watch wearers can use the device to check their heart rate at any time, whether on demand or while doing an activity. Those who are actively monitoring these stats can also set up notifications so the watch will alert them if their heart rate drops too low or climbs too high. With newer versions of the Apple Watch software, watOS 5.1.2 or later, wearers can also use the device to monitor their heart rhythm and receive notifications about irregular patterns. With Series 4 Apple Watch and more recent models, users can also take an electrocardiogram using the watch and Apple’s ECG app.