Smartwatches today have gained a lot of functionality that could monitor more than just your activity or movement. They can gauge the quality of your sleep, measure your heart rate, and, at least in some cases, even take note of blood oxygen levels. There are, however, still some things they can’t do, like standalone blood pressure measurement or non-invasive blood sugar monitoring. The latter, however, might be getting closer to reality with an Apple Watch with such a feature in tow coming as soon as 2022.
Blood pressure monitoring often requires the use of a special cuff or at least some calibration to work. Blood glucose measurement, on the other hand, involves taking some fluids from the body, particularly a blood drop. A non-invasive alternative to the latter has been one of the Holy Grails of both medical and technological fields and Apple is now believed to be at the cusp of such a groundbreaking product.
Of course, there is no concrete evidence that this is the case but an SEC filing revealed that, at the very least, Cupertino is actively working towards such a goal. British company Rockley Photonics revealed in documents that Apple is its largest US customer. It also happens that the company is working on technology that detects blood sugar levels using infrared light.
Apple’s ambitions in that area are no secret, of course, but this is perhaps the first concrete evidence that it is preparing to use such technology. The filing reveals that the two companies have a supply and development agreement and the majority of Rockley’s profits have come from engineering fees for working on related products.
Perhaps more interestingly, the UK startup’s CEO revealed that it expects its technology to be in consumer products next year. Naturally, he doesn’t say whether it would be in the Apple Watch but some market observers connecting the dots do see it that way.