Two new health-related Apple patents cover gait analysis and aerobic fitness detection in athletic users


Yesterday, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued two patent applications relating to Apple’s work on user health monitoring features. Our report focuses on one of the patents relating to systems, methods and techniques of electronic monitoring of the health of a user by analyzing his approach. Apple’s invention is more applicable to the sporting spirit.

Human gaits are the different ways in which a human can move, either naturally or as a result of specialized training. The human gait is defined as a bipedal and biphasic propulsion towards the front of the center of gravity of the human body, in which there are alternating sinuous movements of different segments of the body with minimal energy expenditure. Different gait patterns are characterized by differences in limb movement patterns, overall speed, forces, cycles of kinetic and potential energy, and changes in contact with the ground.

According to Apple, the advantages of this invention are to help users determine the characteristics of their gait more precisely. Based on this information, computing devices can determine the physical health of a patient and monitor the health of the patient over time. In some implementations, this also enables computing devices to identify health conditions associated with a user and, in response, to take appropriate action to treat those conditions.

In one aspect, Apple’s invention covers a method that includes obtaining, at a computing device, sensor data generated by one or more accelerometers and one or more gyroscopes over a period of time. The sensor data includes an acceleration signal indicative of an acceleration measured by the one or more accelerometers over a period of time, and an orientation signal indicative of an orientation measured by the one or more gyroscopes over the period of time.

The accelerometer (s) and the gyroscope (s) are physically coupled to a user walking along a surface. The method also includes identifying, by the computing device, one or more portions of the sensor data based on one or more criteria; and determining, by the computing device, characteristics relating to a user’s gait based on the one or more portions of the sensor data, the characteristics including a walking speed of the user and an asymmetry of the gait of the user. user.

Apple’s patent FIG. 2A below is a diagram showing examples of positions of a mobile device on the body of a user. Specifically, the user (# 200) can position a mobile device (# 100, an iPad) at a location (# 202a) along their thigh. This could correspond, for example, to the fact that the user places the mobile device (an iPhone) in the pocket of a pants, a dress, a skirt, a shorts, a jacket, a coat, shirt or other clothing.

As a second example, a user can position a mobile device at the location (# 202b) along their hip. This could correspond, for example, to the fact that the user places the mobile device on a support structure fixed to the hip, such as a belt clip or a holster; Orientations 204a and 204b may refer, for example, to a vector projecting from a vertex of the device (for example, the y axis shown in Figure 2B).

In some implementations, the mobile device may be positioned asymmetrically on the user’s body relative to the user’s left and right directions (eg, relative to a central plane, such as a sagittal plane. ). For example, the mobile device can be positioned closer to a right side of its body than to its left side, or vice versa.

Apple’s patent FIG. 3 above is a diagram showing an example of an acceleration signal versus examples of walking phases; FIG. 5 below is a diagram showing an example process for estimating an acceleration experienced by a mobile device relative to a fixed frame of reference.

3 APPLE PATENT FIGURES 5 & 11

Apple’s patent FIG. 11 above is a diagram of another exemplary process for estimating a user’s walking speed and / or other measurements relating to a user’s gait.

For athletes or those in sports medical clinic related fields who would like to explore more details behind Apple’s patent application 20210393166, click here.

Electronic devices with improved detection of aerobic capacity

Apple’s second health-related patent application published yesterday is entitled “Electronic devices with enhanced sensing of aerobic capacity.”

Apple patent summary: “One or more electronic devices may use motion and / or activity sensors to estimate a user’s maximum volumetric oxygen flow, or VO2 max. In particular, although a correlation between heart rate and VO2 max may be linear at high heart rate levels, there is no linear correlation at lower heart rate levels. Therefore, for users without extensive training data, motion sensors and activity sensors can be used to determine the maximum number of calories burned by the user, training data including rate data. heart rate and body metric data. Based on these parameters, a personalized relationship between the user’s heart rate and oxygen pulse (which is a function of VO2) can be determined, even in the absence of high-intensity training data. this way a maximum heart rate and therefore a VO2 max value can be approximated for the user. “

Click here to view patent application 20210393162.

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