A series of reports have claimed the Appel Watch Series 7 will get a highly anticipated new sensor that would benefit a large category of users. These are the people who have diabetes who have to perform blood glucose tests at least once a day. These tests involve drawing blood for a sample that’s then placed inside a specially designed sensor. Various companies have tried developing gadgets that can perform blood glucose readings passively via contact with the skin so that diabetics don’t need to bother with older methods that require drawing blood. Some reports say the Apple Watch Series 7 might be the first Apple wearable to incorporate a blood glucose sensor, while others say the feature might have been postponed.
A brand new report indicates that Apple has even bigger plans in place for its wearable devices. The Apple Watch might measure blood sugar and blood alcohol level, on top of blood glucose, in the not too distant future. The news comes from disclosures made by a UK company that’s about to go public.
Rockley Photonics revealed that Apple is its largest customer, the Telegraph reported (via MacRumors). Rockley has developed optical sensors that can perform various health readings, including blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol. These sensors beam infrared light through the skin to perform the readings, in a fashion similar to the Apple Watch’s existing sensors that measure heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
In filings ahead of its public listing, the UK firm said that Apple accounted for the majority of its revenue over the last two years. Moreover, Rockley noted that it has an ongoing “supply and development agreement” with Apple. The company expects to rely on the Apple Watch maker for most of its revenue.
While Rockley’s disclosures do not reference Apple’s plans for future Watch models, they imply that Apple might incorporate other Rockley sensors inside future versions of the device. Rockley did say that its next-generation sensors could be used in smartwatches and other devices as soon as next year. This could mean the Apple Watch Series 8 might feature some of the new sensors listed above, if not all of them.
Apple has added several additional health readings to the Apple Watch over the years, upgrading the heart rate sensor and bringing ECG readings and blood oxygen monitoring to the device. The Apple Watch is often credited for saving lives via passively monitoring health parameters, especially heart rate readings. Adding support for blood pressure and blood glucose readings seems like an obvious upgrade for the watch. People suffering from diabetes often suffer from heart conditions, including high blood pressure. Passively monitoring blood pressure and glucose levels could improve disease management and optimize treatment, especially for patients who need insulin therapy.
Given Rockley’s disclosures and existing Apple Watch Series 7 rumors, MacRumors speculates that the blood glucose monitoring feature might debut this year, with the more sophisticated Rockley sensors to follow in future Watch generations.