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Digital Trends writes about Apple has filed a patent application that suggests it is "investigating how to integrate health monitoring technology into clothing" by weaving a stretchable band into fabric, which "could also contain sensors to monitor the body’s vital signs."

The story suggests that this could be "the next stage on from what’s possible with the Apple Watch. Expect heart rate sensing and an electrocardiogram feature, in addition to blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood oxygen levels, respiration rates, and additional fitness-orientated measurements including activity and step count … The band’s stretchable material is key to making it work properly, as it will need to be in almost constant contact with the skin to accurately take the important measurements."

Digital Trends notes that this is all speculation - that we don't know for sure at this point exactly what Apple is planning, or how far along in the development process it is.

But here's what we do know: "Since the introduction of the Apple Watch, Apple has realized the potential in health monitoring technology, and has gone on to introduce important new features to the Watch — including an ECG, fall detection, and more. Apple has also invested in research with the medical community to help people monitor, manage, and diagnose health and fitness conditions. A smartwatch enables many of these features, but its size and location on the body limits the amount it will eventually be able to do. Smart clothing is the logical next step."
KC's View:
Just got back from the GMDC Selfcare Summit, at which fascinating conversations about initiatives like these were front and center … pointing to ways in which retailers can and should be part of the healthcare/selfcare continuum.

I was excited to be part of it, having moderated two sessions that we recorded as Retail Tomorrow podcasts that will drop here over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned … I think you'll be as fascinated as I was.