Report: Apple Continues to Explore Health Capabilities of Vision Pro

Apple has explored using its Vision Pro headset to diagnose and treat mental health problems, among other health monitoring capabilities, The Information's Wayne Ma reports.

Vision Pro Person
Citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter, Ma explains that Apple has experimented with using the Vision Pro to track a user's facial expressions to detect depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Specifically, eye-tracking, pupil dilation, and external cameras can measure a person's "affect," a psychological term that refers to how an individual expresses emotions.

A so-called "flat affect," otherwise known as an emotionless facial expression, can be a sign of specific mental health difficulties. Upon detection of such a problem, the Vision Pro would then display relevant images and play sounds that could improve the wearer's mental state. Virtual reality headsets have already been used by researchers to diagnose and treat phobias and PTSD by safely exposing patients to their fears.

Apple has also apparently discussed using the Vision Pro's infrared eye tracking-cameras to detect swelling in the blood vessels of the eyes to spot an early sign of heart failure. The company explored using the headset to detect weight changes and evaluate a user's movement over time, using this data to screen for health issues such as Parkinson's disease, but the feature had a major setback when Apple removed the full body-tracking capabilities from the Vision Pro due to unreliability.

Features that claim to diagnose or treat health issues would need to undergo clinical studies and receive approval from health regulators before being released to the public, but some Apple employees are apparently concerned about the legal liability of making more health-related claims, which could limit the scope of the features. Other employees are said to be skeptical that the Vision Pro will be as effective as other methods of treatment, such as medicine.

Teams and significant individuals inside Apple are said to have extensively discussed or explored health, wellness, and fitness features for the Vision Pro, including Mike Rockwell, the head of Apple's Vision Products Group. The company has reportedly hired health experts to explore features for the device. The Information was unable to learn whether mental health features will arrive on the first-generation Vision Pro headset, or if it will be reserved for future models. The sources added that such features may never launch at all, but the company continues to brainstorm health-related uses for the headset.

Ma added that Apple has also explored the mental health detection capabilities of other devices such as the iPhone, using the front-facing camera to track a user's mood, as well as monitor app usage and typed words to detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

Top Rated Comments

ProfessionalFan Avatar
6 weeks ago
If this can actually work and be reliable, it'd be life changing. Even if it never comes to fruition, props to Apple for trying to make it a reality.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
victorvictoria Avatar
6 weeks ago
"Apple has explored using its Vision Pro headset to diagnose and treat mental health problems, among other health monitoring capabilities…"

That is the single most ironic statement I've ever read in reference to entertainment technology. Using the product to mitigate the damage the product causes. Genius!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klasma Avatar
6 weeks ago

Upon detection of such a problem, the Vision Pro would then display relevant images and play sounds that could improve the wearer's mental state.
This will be the ultimate AR application: make reality appear more tolerable than it actually is.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fuzzball84 Avatar
6 weeks ago
Still a scuba mask, or Sega genesis game controller stuck to someones face. No thanks just yet...

I love the functionality but the design.... Im sure they will do great on future revisions. Maybe these added features will be worth it... but lets se what comes.

One thing I know for sure.. wearing that will cause you mental health issues... the number of people laughing at you! Laughing at you for the look, and the fact you spent that much money on it too.

It should come with a warning... wearing this may result in extreme embarrassment.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pakaku Avatar
6 weeks ago
Somehow I doubt keeping a screen a few cm away from your eyes for potentially long periods of time is considered healthy
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
siddavis Avatar
6 weeks ago
In all seriousness, this could be great if they can pull it off. My Apple Watch first warned me of a heart condition that I had no idea I had. Now I am being treated/monitored by a cardiologist.

In joking, nothing says health like sitting on a couch with two high resolution TVs strapped to your face turning you into a vegetable.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.2 Will Add These 12 New Features to Your iPhone

Friday December 1, 2023 12:19 pm PST by
iOS 17.2 has been in beta testing for over a month, and it should be released to all users in a few more weeks. The software update includes many new features and changes for iPhones, including the dozen that we have highlighted below. iOS 17.2 is expected to be released to the public in mid-December. To learn about even more features coming in the update, check out our full list. Journal ...
iOS 17

28 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in December's iOS 17.2 Update

Friday December 1, 2023 2:57 am PST by
Apple made the first beta of iOS 17.2 available to developers in October. Since then we've seen three more betas, and with each iteration Apple continues to add more new features and changes, many of which users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 28 new things that are coming to your iPhone when the finalized version is publicly released this December. 1. Help...
anker new xmas

Anker's Cyber Week Sale Enters Final Days With Up to 60% Off Sitewide

Friday December 1, 2023 12:05 pm PST by
Anker's Black Friday/Cyber Week event is entering its final days this weekend, and it's still offering up to 60 percent off sitewide. There are also a few "mystery boxes" that can include hundreds of dollars in savings, if you're willing to risk not knowing what you're buying ahead of time. All of these sales will end on December 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Anker. When you...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.1.2 With Security Fixes

Thursday November 30, 2023 10:12 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 17.1.2 and iPadOS 17.1.2, small updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating systems that Apple introduced in September. iOS 17.1.2 and iPadOS 17.1.2 come a few weeks after the release of iOS 17.1.1, another bug fix update. iOS 17.1.2 and iPadOS 17.1.2 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update....
iPhone 16 Mock Header Updated 1

iPhone 16 to Include Action Button Across Entire Lineup

Thursday November 30, 2023 4:08 pm PST by
The release of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max saw the introduction of an entirely new user-configurable button known as the Action button, and now, MacRumors has seen extensive evidence confirming Apple is planning to include the Action button on the entire iPhone 16 range. Designs and plans for the Action button date back to at least 2021, as the button was intended for release alongside hapt...
top stories 2dec2023

Top Stories: iOS 17.1.2 Released, NameDrop Misinformation, and More

Saturday December 2, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Apple employees are back to work following a Thanksgiving break, and that means this week saw a number of new operating system updates for both public release and beta testing. This week also saw some misinformation about Apple's new NameDrop feature making the rounds, while Apple and Goldman Sachs appear to be on the verge of a break-up in their Apple Card and savings account partnership,...
General Apps Messages

Green Bubbles on iPhone to Gain These 7 New Features Next Year

Thursday November 30, 2023 9:00 am PST by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that it will finally support RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting later next year. This change will result in several improvements to the messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices. RCS will become the new default standard for messaging between iPhones and Android devices, but these conversations will still have green bubbles like...
paramount plus logo

Apple and Paramount Considering Discounted TV+ Streaming Bundle

Friday December 1, 2023 4:40 am PST by
Apple and Paramount have discussed bundling their TV streaming services at a discount, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal. The companies have talked about offering a combination of Paramount+ and Apple TV+ that would cost less than subscribing to both services separately, according to people familiar with the discussions. The discussions are in their early stages, and it is ...