Rumor Claims watchOS 7 Will Have 'Mental Health Capabilities' to Detect Panic Attacks

Apple's next-generation Apple Watch and watchOS 7 will focus on new mental health capabilities, according to leaker Jon Prosser who recently spoke on the Geared Up podcast. The mention of new Apple Watch features comes towards the end of the podcast.


The next-generation version of the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 6, has been rumored to include a blood oxygen sensor, which Prosser says Apple will take advantage of to implement new mental health-related features, such as detecting panic attacks.

What their biggest focus on is right now and I hope it comes this year, it might come next year, but I hope it's coming to WWDC is mental health capabilities. Where they can take the oxygen levels in your blood with your heart rate and determine if you're hyperventilating.

They can identify a panic attack before it happens and warn you on your watch. Especially if you're driving, they'll ask you to pull over and they'll offer breathing exercises once you get pulled over.

Prosser says that while he hopes the feature is released this year, "it might come next year." He also says he hopes for a WWDC unveiling, but if the new feature relies on a blood oxygen sensor in an unreleased version of the Apple Watch, it's not likely Apple will unveil the capability until the fall when new Apple Watch models that support it are released.

There is, however, a possibility that it will be revealed at WWDC if older Apple Watch models have a latent ability to detect blood oxygen level, which is not clear at this time, or if the feature does not involve blood oxygen monitoring.

The panic attack detecting rumor was first shared by EverythingApplePro and leaker Max Weinbach back in April, who said that the Apple Watch will also be able to determine when a user is experiencing high levels of stress. Weinbach and EverythingApplePro did not suggest the feature would rely on blood oxygen monitoring, however, and said that it would be available on the Apple Watch Series 4 or later.

Hints that blood oxygen tracking capabilities are coming to a future version of the Apple Watch were found in a leaked version of iOS 14. Blood oxygen monitoring is an important feature because a drop in blood oxygen levels can suggest a serious respiratory or cardiac problem that requires immediate medical attention.

Multiple prior rumors from Bloomberg and other sources have also indicated that the next-generation Apple Watch and ‌watchOS 7‌ will include sleep tracking features, allowing the Apple Watch to measure sleep quality, length, and other metrics.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
You: Thinking how much you just spent on another Apple product
Apple Watch: You’re having a panic attack
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
good way to make people more anxious
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
Apple has been using a plethysmograph to detect heart rate since series 0 on the Apple watch. This can technically measure oxygen level as well. This means that this feature can likely come to all watches.

To quote iFixit:
Apple’s heart rate monitor is actually a plethysmograph that looks and acts like a pulse oximeter, but Apple isn’t claiming it can measure your blood oxygen level.

Source: https://www.ifixit.com/News/7158/apple-watch-teardown-2
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
The amount of people in the comments speaking about "panic attacks" (even making fun of them) without obviously knowing what an actual panic attack is is too. damn. high.



Dumbest idea ever.

I’ve lived with chronic anxiety and panic disorder for 20 years and the LAST thing I need to think about ALL DAY is looking to see if I’m gonna have a panic attack.

You have it backwards.

You don't look all day whether you have one. Your watch INFORMS you when you're about to get one.

People don't seem to know there are actual service dogs trained to do specifically that! If you know you're about to have a panic attack, you can try beating it with coping mechanisms....


The feature isn’t for you. The feature is for people like my 35 year old roommate who thought he was having a heart attack, but his Watch 4 only showed a high heart rate, nothing else. If the watch instead could have told him he was having a panic attack, and then help him with deep breathing, it could have saved him the cost of an emergency room visit

THIS!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
Due to health issues I mentioned on another thread, I’m really hoping for a blood oxygen monitor. You can derive a lot from having that information.

I’m (perhaps stupidly) holding off on buying a standalone blood oxygen monitor in the hope the next revision of the Apple Watch has one built in.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
I'm sure it'll be a great watch and OS but I'm not buying anything made in China ever again, at least as much as I can help it. It's time for us to stop complaining and finally do something about a country that exhibits such callous disregard for human life. I'll use my iPhone 8 until the wheels fall off, after which hopefully Apple will have moved some production of US-bound handsets elsewhere. If not then it's a S. Korean phone for me (Samsung/LG), which I guess means Android will become my daily-driver.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Microsoft Internally Worked on a Mac OS X Aqua Inspired Windows XP Theme

Saturday September 26, 2020 10:51 am PDT by
Microsoft tested a Windows XP theme that closely resembled Mac OS X's Aqua GUI, reports The Verge. A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed various unreleased themes that Microsoft developed in 2000, at a time when Microsoft was in heated competition with Apple regarding desktop operating systems. One of the themes, codenamed "Candy," mirrors the design of Apple's Aqua...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...