Apple is exploring advanced Watch technology that monitors wearers’ blood pressure, glucose and alcohol levels under a deal with a British electronics start-up. In an SEC filing, Apple has been revealed as the largest customer of Rockley Photonics, which says its next-generation sensors could be in devices next year.
The British company has developed ultra-accurate sensors that read multiple blood signals that are typically only detectable using medical equipment, by beaming infrared light through skin from a module on the back of a smartwatch.
Rockley, which has offices in Oxford, Wales and Silicon Valley, revealed its relationship with Apple in listing documents as it prepares to go public in New York.
The filings said that Apple accounted for the majority of its revenue in the last two years and that it has an ongoing “supply and development agreement” with the company under which it expects to continue to rely on Apple for most of its income. Its revenue largely comes from engineering fees paid to the company for work on future products. Andrew Rickman, Rockley’s chief executive, said that he expected the company’s technology to be in consumer products next year, although he declined to confirm if this would be an Apple device…
Rockley Photonics… is going public at an expected valuation of around $1.2bn through a “SPAC” merger with SC Health, an investment vehicle listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
MacDailyNews Take: Non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring is the holy grail for treating diabetes. If achieved, Apple Watch with a blood glucose sensor would become the essential device for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes worldwide.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 463 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes in 2019; by 2045 this figure will rise to 700 million.