Rockley Photonics share price falls on damning report

Shares of smartwatch and medical device biosensor developer Rocky Photonics Holdings are sharply down on an Iceberg Research report. It claims that Apple’s plans to add blood pressure and blood glucose to the Apple Watch have been pushed back due to issues with Rockley technology.

Rockley Photonics has been in the news quite a bit over the past couple of years. We’ve been following its progress closely as its platform promises to change the wearables industry from the ground up.

To remind, the outfit is developing a clinic-on-a-wrist wearable. The promise is that it will be able to continously monitor a bunch of stats including core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, glucose trends and much more from the wrist. Apparently, this tech will be 1 million times higher resolution and 1,000 times more accurate than current light emitting diode technology. 

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

To help Rockley Photonics prepare to scale manufacturing for public release, they’ve recently teamed up with Minnesota-based Medtronic. If all goes well, we can expect this ground-breaking technology to start to make its way into wearables in 2023. 

All may not be going according to plan

However, a report from Iceberg Research claims that perhaps all is not going according to plan. One of Rockley’s biggest investors, Apple, is facing snags in adding blood pressure and blood glucose functionality to its watch. Bloomberg has reported on this multiple times. The functionality is now not expected to happen until 2024 for blood pressure and even later for glucose tracking.

Iceberg says the delay is linked to “roadblocks” Apple and Rockley are facing with technology. The duo has been working on this since 2017. “Accuracy has been a challenge during testing.” an unnamed Bloomberg source reveals.

Iceberg Research believes Rockley’s technology is the same tech currently causing issues for Apple. Hence their conclusion that Rockley Photonics may face delays in getting their technology to market.

“In our view, Rockley’s revenue shortfall, coupled with its tight cash position and high burn rate, means the company must turn to heavily-dilutive financing sources like [Lincoln Park Capital] for its survival.” Iceberg Research writes.

In conclusion, Iceberg believes that Rockley has oversold its tech in order to raise funds. Which will be disappointing if it turns out to be true. Many of us in the wearables space are waiting for the next big thing. And this technology does sound like something that could revolutionise this space.

Rockley Photonics shares fell 7% immediately after the report, extending their two week fall. It will be interesting to see where the share price goes from here.

Rockley Photonics share price

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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