Since its launch, The Apple Watch has been focused on health. Heart rate monitoring, miles travelled, tracking exercise data, dietary calculations, etc.; the Apple Watch has quickly become the smart solution for the health conscious generation.
For those suffering or concerned about Carpal Tunnel, a newly released patent hints to some future improvements that could be very beneficial in improving ergonomics and biomechanics of hand and wrist motion.
The filing, which can be seen in its entirety courtesy of Patently Apple, details new features that include being able to monitor “skin proximity and tilt effect” . To translate, this means the watch will be able to monitor where it is in relation to your wrist and the ground.
A practical use for this feature in regard to Carpal Tunnel is that the watch could be used to track how often and to what degree your wrist is bending and your hands are moving. A program could then alert you if your movements are creating a use pattern that is recognized as probable for leading to repetitive motion injuries like Carpal Tunnel or tendonitis. It could also alert you if the number of movements have exceeded know levels for risk assessment.
Not only could the watch be used as a prevention tool, it could also be used for those already suffering from Carpal Tunnel. The watch can store movement data that could be interpreted by a doctor or an ergonomics expert to track hand movement and provide data on how to improve ergonomics as part of your Carpal Tunnel treatment.
This new technology could also have non-treatment and prevention applications. Because the sensors can monitor and even predict hand positioning, they could also improve your golf swing, how you lift, or even make you a better bowler. Improving the biomechanics of your hand action in these activities reduces the stress on the hand and wrist with each movement.
As with all illnesses, prevention can be the best cure and this new technology for the Apple Watch could help those who work long hours in front of computers reduce the level of repetitive stress on their hands and wrist and possibly minimize Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It will require processing a lot of ergonomic data to optimize the application for each person. With computer power expanding at record levels processing immense data can now be done in something as small as a watch. This app could add another option to help minimize stress on the hands and wrists from repetitive motion.
For those who already have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the Carpal Solution Therapy is still the most affordable, convenient and successful treatment on the market. But combined with this new technology, people, one day soon, will be able to optimize their ergonomics at work and at play to reduce the repetitive stress that can contribute to CTS and have fewer Carpal Tunnel flare-ups.