Next-generation Apple Watch could be capable of detecting panic attacks

Internal code snippets of iOS 14 that leaked earlier this year indicated that the next iteration of the Apple Watch could introduce a new capability for measuring oxygen levels in the blood. Now, a new rumor claims Apple may use that feature to detect mental health problems such as panic attacks.

Renowned Apple leakster Jon Prosser has claimed through a podcast (via MacRumors) that the tech giant plans to incorporate mental health capabilities into the Apple Watch Series 6. Prosser said:

“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.”

The potential addition of this feature to Apple Watch could prove life-saving because consistent low oxygen readings could indicate problems of cardiac arrests that need immediate medical attention. It’s also an added benefit for users on top of the smartwatch’s existing health features like the electrocardiogram which was launched with the Apple Watch Series 4.