Two Health-Related patents published yesterday for Apple cover new aspects of future Blood Pressure Cuff & Beddit devices
Yesterday two new Apple patents were published by the U.S. Patent Office regarding health-related devices. The first invention covers a pressure relief valve for a possible future blood pressure cuff while the second invention covers a Beddit related invention for measuring a user's temperature while sleeping.
The increase in health device patents comes at a time when Apple announced last year that Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson had been elected to Apple’s board of directors. Apple's Chairman Arthur Levinson stated at the time that as a thoughtful and passionate leader, Alex has helped bring cutting-edge technologies to some of healthcare’s most urgent and complex challenges. His voice and vision will help Apple continue to make a positive impact on people’s lives through the power of technology."
Since 2018 Patently Apple has covered at least four of Apple's patents describing different devices and methods of a next-generation blood pressure system (01, 02, 03 and 04). Yesterday a new patent application was published titled "Pressure Relief Valve for Blood Pressure Cuff."
Overall, Apple's patent application covers a blood pressure measurement device that includes a cuff configured to wrap around a limb of a user when the cuff is worn by the user, a bladder coupled to the cuff and configured to compress the limb when inflated, and a pump operative to inflate the bladder. The blood pressure measurement device can also include a valve positioned between the bladder and the pump and configured to operate in a first state that allows air from the pump to enter the bladder and prevent air from leaving the bladder.
The valve could also be configured to operate in a second state that allows air to leave the bladder. The blood pressure measurement device can also include a vent positioned between the bladder and an external environment and configured to continuously release air from the bladder.
Most new device inventions are covered in patents that are revealed in phases over time so as to focus on distinct aspects of the device's design that Apple wants to cover and protect. Although some of the basic design was covered back in January, Apple's latest patent covers a new aspect related to the "Pressure Relief Valve."
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below shows an example of a blood pressure measurement device as worn by a user; FIG. 2 shows an example of a blood pressure measurement device.
Apple's patent FIG. 4B above illustrates an example operation of a blood pressure measurement device; FIG. 5b is just one example of a blood pressure measurement device in a second state.
For more details, review Apple's patent application 20220087545.
A new Beddit Related Patent
Yesterday the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple relating to next-gen health solutions for Beddit, a company Apple acquired in 2017. At present, it appears that the company is still selling their single product, a sleep monitoring system that comes with an app for iPhone or Apple Watch. It's unknown what Apple plans for Beddit in the future, though we covered two patents in 2021 covering "Actuation Cells" and a "Flexible Capacity Sensing Mat" that advances their sleep monitoring technology.
Apple's latest sleep monitoring patent application covers a temperature sensing device that tracks the temperature of a user over an extended period of time.
The temperature sensing device can include a flexible housing that encloses one or more temperature sensors arranged in an array or other defined configuration. The temperature sensing device can be placed on or integrated with various objects that a user may interact with on a daily basis.
For example, the temperature sensing device can be configured as a flexible strip that is configured to be placed on a bed, such as over a mattress, integrated within a sheet, a pad, or the like. The flexible strip can position multiple temperature sensors across the bed such that at least one of the temperature sensors is positioned under a user when the user is lying on the bed. In this regard, the temperature sensing device can measure a temperature of the user over an extended period of time, such as while the user is sleeping. Obtaining temperature measurements of the user over the extended period of time may result in more accurate or substantive temperature data for the user as compared to a user taking a single temperature measurement using a thermometer or other device. For example, the extended temperature data can lead to a more accurate basal body temperature (BBT) measurement for the user by averaging or otherwise analyzing temperature periods taken over a sleep period.
Integrating the temperature sensing device with objects that a person routinely interacts with can also facilitate measuring and tracking temperatures for the person on a regular basis.
For example, interfacing the temperature sensing device with a bed can allow temperatures for the user to be measured and recorded each night. This regularly tracked temperature data can be used to identify or determine temperature trends such as an increase in temperature due to ovulation.
In other cases, regularly tracked temperature data can be used to identify and/or track a fever. In some cases, tracked temperature data can be used to predict future events such as a start date of a next menstrual period, a next ovulation date, when a fever may end, and so on.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates an example of a temperature sensing device placed on, or integrated into, a bed; FIG. 3 shows a plan view of an example thin film temperature sensing device.
For those interested in diving deeper into the details of this new system, review Apple's patent application 20220087534. When any of Apple's latest advances to Beddit will finally come to market is unknown at this time.