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Rockley Photonics launches wearable digital health monitor

14 Jul 2021

“Clinic-on-the-wrist” combining hardware, firmware, and cloud analytics, is based on spectrophotometer-on-a-chip.

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

The 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 level, lactate, and glucose trends, among other variables.

The wristband that contains the sensor module and communicates with custom cloud-based analytical engines via a dedicated Rockley smartphone app. The wristband will be used in a sequence of in-house human studies in the coming months, says the company.

Dr. Andrew Rickman, CEO and founder, commented, “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.

“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.”

’Clinic on the wrist’

Through its “clinic-on-the-wrist” technology utilizing a miniaturized chip solution that provides continuous, non-invasive monitoring of core biomarkers, Rockley 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 LEDs to monitor heart rate, Rockley’s infrared spectrophotometers can detect and monitor a much wider range of biomarkers, which could dramatically increase the functionality of wearable devices.

The central and 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.

Moreover, Rockley’s innovative architecture delivers several milliwatts of optical output power per wavelength channel, which is key to achieving the high signal-to-noise ratio required for signal analysis from a small wearable.

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.

In March, 2021, Rockley Photonics agreed to combine with SC Health, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. Rockley announced its intent to go public through a merger with SC Health, which has not yet closed.

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