A future Apple Watch could be capable of measuring blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
A new report from Forbes explains that UK health tech firm Rockley Photonics recently confirmed in an SEC filing that Apple has been its largest customer for the past two years, and that it has a continuing deal to develop future products.
Rockley’s focus has been on sensors that track blood glucose, pressure and even alcohol levels, suggesting that at least one of these features could be available in a future Apple Watch.
The Series 6 smartwatch currently monitors blood oxygen and heart rate, but, as Forbes pointed out, metrics like blood glucose levels “have long been the Holy Grail for wearables makers.” It’s only been four years since the FDA approved the first continuous blood sugar monitor that doesn’t require a finger prick.
“Non-invasive sensing of the human body is incredibly challeng[ing],” Apple COO Jeff Williams has said in the past. “People have been talking about non-invasive glucose sensing for decades. I read every year that somebody has a non-invasive glucose sensing monitor ready. And what I’ll tell you is, it’s hard enough to detect glucose when you can access the interstitial fluid, it’s way harder to do it with photons.”
Measuring blood pressure could also lead to tracking of stress and monitor alcohol intake. However, the feasibility and keeping the price in check will also be big factors for the firm. And considering that Apple last year bifurcated its Watch family largely in two series — Watch 6 and Watch SE — we could see a premium one with all these features soon and with basic ones as a part of the SE lineup.
The current Apple Watch Series 6 can measure heart rate and blood oxygen levels but the ability to measure other things would be a big addition, especially blood pressure. Being able to keep track of their blood pressure could be a real lifesaver for those who suffer from various heart conditions.