5 health tech patents fueling Apple's R&D growth since 2009

Apple's research and development spending has grown from $1 billion in 2009 to an estimated $13 billion in 2019, according to a Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan, CNBC reports.

The technology giant's R&D growth has been influenced in part by Apple's various patents, which have shown that the company is developing products in wearables, health and fitness. In 2018, Apple had 2,160 patents granted, according to the report.

Five Apple patents that could be indicative of the company's future health tech developments:

1. In May, Apple acquired a new patent application for a noninvasive system that uses sensors in a pillow or placed underneath a mattress to monitor an individual's medical conditions while sleeping.

2. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released two patent applications from Apple April 4 that indicate the tech giant might be working on a device that can smell the environment. The application notes that device could "measure compounds in human sweat and alert the user about his sugar levels."

3. A Jan. 10 patent application suggests Apple could one day monitor a person's health using fabric, such as creating a headband that contains health sensors.

4. Apple was awarded a patent Dec. 4, 2018, for an interchangeable AirPods design, which would use built-in biometric sensors to determine whether an earbud is placed in a wearer's left or right ear and adjust the operation of the earbud accordingly.

5. In June 2018, Apple filed a patent application for a wearable device that monitors blood pressure.

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