Apple is planning new and improved features for its Series 7 Apple Watch, slated for release in 2022: The updated watch will include faster performance, a body temperature sensor, and a blood sugar sensor, according to Bloomberg.
For context, in September 2020, Apple released its Series 6 Watch with enhanced health tracking features like blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, better sleep tracking, a faster FDA-approved electrocardiogram (EKG) sensor, and upgraded heart health monitoring. The Watch is being leveraged in a slew of clinical studies for COVID-19 detection, heart failure, and asthma.
Apple went from laggard to leader in the smartwatch industry in less than a decade. Its recent focus on fortifying user privacy will work in its favor to secure an even larger share of the growing pool of smartwatch users: 39% of consumers indicate the top way to rebuild their trust in a company’s tech is to be transparent about whether or how their data is shared.
Its latest smartwatch development is another drop in the growing pool of Big Tech wearable developments:
It’s no surprise Big Tech is gunning for the wearables space considering the growing market opportunity, especially on the back of the pandemic: 54% of US adults used a wearable to track at least one health metric in 2020—up 10 percentage points from 2019, per Rock Health’s 2020 Digital Health Consumer Adoption report. Moreover, 46% of respondents said they started using wearables for a new purpose during the pandemic, including managing a diagnosed health condition (66%), fitness tracking (34%), and improving physical activity (32%). This is significant, considering Big Tech companies like Apple and Amazon are not only rolling out more advanced wearables, but also digital fitness programs.
Consumers’ growing interest in wearables gives Big Tech cos an avenue to bring people over to their other digital health endeavors—like remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions, virtual care, and reproductive health apps.