Apple may be experimenting with creating an inflatable band for the Apple Watch that reads your blood pressure.

The company was awarded a patent today for a “low-profile blood pressure measurement system.” The drawings and descriptions suggest a wholly new device, and that’s how it’s being covered in the blogs. But wait! Read a little deeper in the patent and you’ll find this little nugget:

“The system may be located on a wearable or mobile device, while the controller may be located on the same device or a separate device, for example, a computer or separate wearable or mobile device. In one example the system may be located on a wrist-worn device (e.g., a watch, wristband, or bracelet) . . . ” the patent reads. And, further supporting the watchband theory: ” . . . the system may be in a separate module that is attachable by a user to a wearable or mobile device.”

[Image: courtesy of United States Patent and Trademark Office]

I would be very surprised to see Apple release its own free-standing blood pressure cuff. Building blood pressure monitoring capability into an existing Apple product seems more likely, and the obvious candidate is the Watch.

As others have pointed out, it’s no secret that Apple wants to move deeper into healthcare, and that probably includes positioning the Apple Watch as a device that monitors health in far more serious ways than counting steps and heart rate. The new patent may provide a look into Apple’s thinking in this area.

[H/T: Apple Insider]

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