Apple hopes to measure your health data on your iPhone

For years, Apple wanted to be your health buddy. From its fitness-oriented focus on the Watch to working on glucose monitoring, Apple has been working hard to become your virtual doctor in your pocket.

According to a patent granted to Apple on Tuesday, Apple wants to measure one’s health data with the touch of a single finger. The patent, straightforwardly titled “Electronic Device That Computes Health Data”, uses the front-facing camera and proximity sensor to emit light into a body part and collect information from the received light.

In the patent illustrations, an user puts his or her finger on the sensor around where the camera is located. From the touch, the iPhone is able to measure a range of health data from blood pressure, body fat percentage, oxygen levels and more.

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Apple explains in the patent that they want the iPhone to have such technology so that the user can detect health abnormalities or maximize their fitness levels.

An illustration from the Apple patent shows the iPhone downloading health data. (Courtesy United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Apple and the human touch goes a long way with many obstacles. So far, Touch ID has been a success, where users can unlock the phone or specific apps by putting their fingerprint on the Home button.

But rumors about Apple allowing touch sensor under the display for the new iPhone — allowing users to unlock by putting their finger anywhere on the screen — has been swirling for months.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a Taiwanese analyst famous for his largely accurate predictions about new Apple products, said the upcoming iPhone will not come with the under-glass touch option because Apple ran out of time before production.

As for the patent itself, Apple listed no timeline of when this may become a possibility.

Photo: A screenshot from a patent filed by Apple on August 8, 2017 titled “Electronic Device That Computes Health Data.” (Courtesy United States Patent and Trademark Office)


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