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Apple reportedly looking at blood sugar, blood pressure and alcohol monitoring for future Apple Watches

Diabetics and others with health issues they want to monitor may be happy to hear that future Apple Watches may track glucose and blood pressure.

Your Apple Watch is apparently going to get a lot smarter in the months ahead.

Future models may be able to measure blood sugar levels, blood pressure and blood alcohol, suggest revelations from one of Apple's suppliers.

It's unknown whether all those features will be available in the Apple Watch 7, likely to be revealed this fall.

U.K. company Rockley Photonics, which makes sensors for wearables, doesn't expect to deliver the silicon photonics chipsets needed for those health monitoring features until the first half of 2022, it said in documents filed in its process of becoming a publicly traded company.

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An Apple Watch shows a resting heart rate reading.

U.K. newspaper The Telegraph first reported on the filing, in which Rockley called Apple its biggest customer. The company said its products are designed for several uses, including medical devices to track blood pressure, body temperature, blood glucose, blood alcohol and blood oxygen levels.

Expanded medical tracking would probably interest consumers, especially those with Type 2 Diabetes, who may need to test their blood sugar several times daily.

Rockley's "clinic on the wrist" technology uses infrared sensors to detect various medical readings through the skin, which the company claims is better than the technology used in wearables.

The Apple Watch 6 can read blood oxygen levels and check your heart rhythm and heart rate. The latest Samsung Galaxy smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy Watch Active2, can monitor your blood pressure, once calibrated with a traditional blood pressure measuring cuff.

Apple has worked on blood glucose tracking for several years. CEO Tim Cook tested a device in 2017, CNBC reported. And there were reports that feature might come to the Apple Watch 7, according to MacRumors.

Blood pressure monitoring could be included in the next model because Apple has a relevant patent, tech news site Tom's Guide reported.

Consumers want more health features, and Rockley estimated the market for medical wearables and devices at more than $48 billion by 2025. The wearables, home and accessories category has been a hit for Apple, achieving a sales increase of 24% to $7.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021 (January-March) after a record fourth quarter 2020 when sales rose 20% to $13 billion.

"I still think we're in the early innings on the watch," Cook said last week. "This is a long way from being a mature market."

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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