The Cupertino company has had a great taste for inventions, judging by the great number of patents that were granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. One of them is a wireless hospital wristband that employs microwave frequencies to transmit health data from patients to the smartphone of their doctor.
Even though Apple seemed to have been holding back from all the wearable tech thing, it’s amassing patents over patents, either for itself, or to make sure that others can be sued in case they get the same idea. One of the 58 patents that were granted today to Apple refers to a wireless communication wristband that could change the way doctors interact with the health data pertaining to their patients.
The disposable wireless wristband envisioned by Apple would be able to store such data as “medical records, administered medications or procedures [like CT scans] that had been performed on a patient earlier during hospitalization.” More precisely, it packs an “autonomous battery-free microwave frequency communication device” that could easily be embedded in wristbands, flyers and cards.
A smartphone running an app developed specifically for this purpose (why lie ourselves, it’s going to be an iPhone and an iOS app) will gather data from the communication device and present it in an easily interpretable form. The iPhone will be able to read the stored data and write any modifications that need to be made concerning the patient’s medication, hospitalization time, so on and so forth. I assume that access would be granted to the wireless hospital wristband after pairing it to the iPhone and entering a PIN or something of the sort.
The communication device has a lot of potential, considering the Health app that Apple showcased at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and the iTime smartwatch, which the world assumes that will be launched this fall. Fitness and medical issues aside, Apple thinks that this communication device could lead to much thinner wallets, as a single card could act as an ID, loyalty card and credit card, all in one place. I’m not a big fan of Apple products, but that’s something I’d definitely like to see.
It is currently unknown if and when Apple plans to launch any products based on the recently granted patents.
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