The Apple Watch may one day get blood sugar monitoring as a standard feature thanks to UK health tech firm Rockley Photonics.
In an April SEC filing, the British electronics start-up named Apple its “largest customer” for the past two years, noting that they have a continuing deal to “develop and deliver new products.” With a focus on healthcare and wellbeing, Rockley creates sensors that track blood pressure, glucose, and alcohol—any of which could end up 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 told Forbes 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.”
The extent of Cupertino’s diabetes support, meanwhile, currently ends with selling third-party monitors in its stores. And while the Rockley filing offers hope, there is of course, no guarantee Apple will choose to integrate any of the firm’s sensors. Or, if it does, which one(s) it might add. Neither Apple nor Rockley immediately responded to PCMag’s request for comment.