Apple Watch could detect incoming panic attacks in future models

Apple Watch 5
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch could take a much more holistic approach to health in the future, according to new rumors, with plans in the pipeline for tools that address the mental wellbeing of users.

That's according to well-respected tipsters Max Weinbach and the folks at EverythingApplePro on YouTube. They say future Apple Watch models could automatically detect panic attacks and stress.

The Apple Watch already does a fine job of tracking physical activity, but the new leaks suggest that watchOS could evolve to incorporate a much fuller suite of tools covering both mental and physical health.

Not all of these features would be available to all Apple Watch users however – the word is that anything older than the Apple Watch 4 might be left out when the upgrades arrive.

The waiting game

Based on the new reports, the Apple Watch would use its on-board sensors to warn users about panic attacks and stress, possibly talking them through some breathing exercises in order to stay calm.

Over time, the wearable would then learn to become better at spotting the early warning signs of stress or panic, which means anyone susceptible to these sorts of mental health issues could take precautionary steps to avoid them well in advance.

Don't expect these features to show up with the Apple Watch 6 though – Weinbach and EverythingApplePro say that they're at the early stage of development, with a full launch likely to be a couple of years away.

Despite the extended time frame, it's encouraging to see Apple working on packing even more functionality into their iconic wearable. We're expecting an update on the progress of watchOS 7 from Apple at some point in June.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.