Apple Stumbles in Race for Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring

Apple

Apple Watch won’t be getting a blood pressure feature any time soon. Struggling with accuracy, the tech giant says it won’t be ready until “2024 at the earliest.”

What’s happening: Blood pressure monitoring could be the next big thing for wearables as nearly half (47%) of all Americans have hypertension.

With a stumble in development, Apple now finds itself behind a host of promising wearables:

  • Omron’s HeartGuide is the only FDA-approved wrist-worn monitor, relying on a small inflatable cuff lining the band.
  • Withings has a connected blood pressure cuff in its ecosystem and will launch a new generation with digital stethoscope and EKG in the coming year.
  • Swiss healthtech company Aktiia, creators of continuous BP monitor through optical sensors, raised a $17.5M Series A in late 2021 and is now in US trials.
  • Last April, Fitbit began trials to test approximating blood pressure by measuring pulse arrival time (PAT) with its tracker.

Punchline: Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the US. As health trackers become effective tools for primary care providers, wearable makers will rush to develop Rx’able features.