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Asthma sensors? Apple buys up healthcare company

Apple buys up a new company “every few weeks,” according to CEO Tim Cook, on its neverending quest for new talent and ideas. Often these purchases are kept under wraps, but when we hear about them it can give pretty serious clues as to Apple’s plans for the future.

In this case, the purchase of start-up company Tueo Health gives us an indication that Apple is looking to include more and more health-tracking capabilities into its devices. Tueo Health specializes in helping parents monitor their children’s asthma, using a combination of smart app tracking and breathing sensors.

Apple has been pretty vocal about its plans to make the Apple Watch a game-changer in the healthcare world, with the latest generation of smartwatch adding fall-tracking sensors as well as the capability to perform a simple ECG test at home. Our bet would be that Apple’s acquisition of Tueo is the first step in an R&D journey to see whether breathing sensors could be incorporated into a future version of the Apple Watch.

Of course, at this early stage its impossible to know whether these functions will ever see the light of day. Developing health tracking features can take years – in fact, we wrote back in 2017 about several healthcare patents Apple took out, and not a single one has yet been seen.

With WWDC right around the corner, could this mean we’ll see more of a focus on healthcare features announced for the next interaction of iOS and watchOS?