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Spectrophotometer-on-a-chip health monitoring solution

Rockley Photonics, a silicon photonics technology company, has unveiled a complete full-stack, “clinic-on-the-wrist” digital health sensor system.

The company's sensor module and associated reference designs for consumer products integrate hardware and application firmware to enable wearable devices to monitor multiple biomarkers, including core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, and glucose trends, among others.

Rockley’s full-stack sensing solution features a wristband that contains the sensor module and communicates with custom cloud-based analytical engines via a Rockley smartphone app. The wristband will be used in a sequence of in-house human studies in the coming months.

"Our full-stack sensor solution, which brings together optical and electronic hardware, firmware, algorithms, and cloud-based analytics, is an exciting milestone on our roadmap. Our reference designs will significantly aid our customers and partners with the deployment of our technology and accelerate their own scalable, high-volume product delivery,” said Dr. Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer and founder of Rockley Photonics. “We believe that combining machine learning algorithms with continuous monitoring of an extended set of biomarkers from accessible wearable devices will provide new actionable insights to enhance and transform digital healthcare.”

Through its “clinic-on-the-wrist” technology utilizing a miniaturised chip solution that provides continuous, non-invasive monitoring of core biomarkers, Rockley said that it expects to be able to overcome the key challenges associated with mobile wellness monitoring. While many of today’s wearable consumer electronic devices use green light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to monitor heart rate, Rockley’s infrared (IR) spectrophotometers can detect and monitor a much wider range of biomarkers, which could dramatically increase the functionality of wearable devices.

The key differentiating element of the sensing system is a non-invasive sensor module based on the Rockley platform’s spectroscopy technology.

Unlike more common spectroscopy solutions, which use broad-spectrum light sources, Rockley’s sensor module generates a large number of discrete laser outputs from a single silicon chip covering a broad optical band. The sensor non-invasively probes beneath the skin to analyze blood, interstitial fluids, and various layers of the dermis for constituents and physical phenomena of interest. Such biomarkers have historically been measurable only by using bench-top equipment.

Rockley is initially targeting the consumer electronics market, in which significant advances in digital personal health and fitness monitoring have occurred in recent years. Rockley is also actively pursuing the application of its technologies with leading medical device companies as biomarker monitoring can advance digital health applications and improve disease prevention, detection, and management.

Author
Neil Tyler

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