Today, Apple was granted a patent that described how the front-facing camera, light sensor and proximity sensor on iPhone devices could be used for health measurements. The patent, discovered by Patently Apple, reads:
“The electronic device uses one or more of the camera and the proximity sensor to emit light into a body part of a user touching a surface of the electronic device and one or more of the camera, the ambient light sensor, and the proximity sensor to receive at least part of the emitted light reflected by the body part of the user. The electronic device computes health data of the user based upon sensor data regarding the received light.”
Additionally, the patent explains that more sensors in the same area can be used for a variety of other health measurements.
For example, it compares how the electrical contacts — electrical circuit components found in electrical switches, relays, connectors and circuit breakers — found in bathroom scales that measure body fat work similarly to the potential iPhone technology described in the patent. More sensors would also allow iPhone smartphones to do electrocardiogram readings.
The iPhone data would be able to assess a variety of different wellness and fitness parameters including blood pressure index, blood hydration, body fat content and pulse rate.
The patent notes that some of those measurements can be taken with the iPhone sensors already available, but more sophisticated measurements would require better sensors.
It’s fascinating to see all that could be done with lights and sensors found already on iPhone smartphones. Whether or not Apple will apply this technology to the iPhone 8 or any future iPhone devices, it’s clear the company is interested in health market expansion.
Source: Patently Apple