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Apple is exploring a system it hopes to use to analyze a person’s respiratory function. The newly granted patent shows that the system will rely on iPhones, Apple Watch, or a “position sensing device.” Apple also introduces an idea in the patent to use a separate device that can be patched to the user’s chest area. 

The patent titled “System and Methods for Analyzing Respiratory Function Using Guided Breathing” with number US 20230263424 A1 was released by the US Patent & Trademark Office. It shows the systems and methods detailed by Apple on how it proposes to measure the respiratory function of an individual using its devices.

The idea is anchored to the fact that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or other airway-related conditions could show reduced airflow during breathing. Apple hopes to rely on the concept of the spirometry test to determine these issues by bringing a more effective way of measuring data. 

In one case, the document shares that the tech will employ an optical sensing unit to identify the torso of the person and assess its movement, and users will get requests to breathe for further assessment. The respiratory metric of the user will then be determined based on the different breathing rates and chest movements.

In another method proposed, Apple mentions a guided breathing exercise with instructions, which the user would have to perform as the device sporting the health system gathers the respiratory parameters. A section of the patent document shares that Apple also plans to use the user’s actual breathing rate to compare it with the data gathered through the requested breathing rate. The set data will then be analyzed to give users insights related to their respiratory function.

While a patent doesn’t ensure that the interesting health system will see the light of day in the future, Apple’s interest in health-related tech creations indicates a huge possibility that the company will make an effort to explore the idea. Currently, Apple is trying to promote its devices to health-conscious individuals using its health-dedicated features and tech. Integrating this proposed system into iPhones and Apple Watches in the future should complement the said effort, but it will still probably take years before we see an actual output from the company for this patent. 


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