Could an upcoming Apple Watch make blood sugar monitoring painless?
A recent SEC filing by British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics reportedly revealed that Cupertino-based smartphone manufacturer Apple has been its largest customer for the last two years. Rockley's primary efforts have been directed toward the development of sensors to track blood pressure, glucose, and alcohol levels. This has fuelled fresh speculation that these sensors could feature in an upcoming Apple Watch version.
Rockley's tech uses photons to make blood sugar tracking non-invasive
There has been immense industry interest in the past decade to make blood sugar measurement a non-invasive process for diabetics, preferably using a wearable sensor. The CEO of Rockley Photonics told Forbes that it's hard enough to detect blood sugar levels with access to the blood and it's "way harder" with photons. The company also has an ongoing supply and development contract with Apple.
SEC filing revealed that Apple has been Rockley's largest customer
Rockley has been preparing to go public in New York. The company's regulatory filings revealed that Apple has been its largest client since 2019. The Telegraph observes that the Apple Watch is key to CEO Tim Cook's ambition of making the iPhone maker a major player in digital health. It could be a game changer if the Apple Watch makes blood sugar monitoring painless.
Apple patent application confirms company's interest in digital health sector
In February, Apple even filed a patent for spectroscopy technology that uses electromagnetic waves in the terahertz frequency. This reaffirmed that the company is interested in integrating these technologies into its upcoming products. The current-generation Apple Watch can track blood oxygen levels using onboard sensors. The feature has since been mimicked by other smartwatch makers as well.
Integrating these technologies into smartwatch form factor could be challenging
However, the revelation that Apple is Rockley's largest customer doesn't equal official confirmation that Apple will incorporate the company's technology in its products. The Telegraph further speculates that a future Apple Watch could pack blood pressure and alcohol level tracking technology as well. While those features would be revolutionary for wearables, we believe that the smartwatch form factor poses significant challenges to companies.