Rockley Photonics Completes Preliminary Human Studies on Core Body Temp

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PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 9, 2021 — Rockley Photonics has completed the first stages of its preliminary human studies examining the measurement of core body temperature using its noninvasive biomarker sensing system. Researchers demonstrated that a photonics-based sensor detecting water spectra in varying layers of the dermis can produce temperature measurements that correlate more closely with reference sensors for core body temperature than do auxiliary sensors such as oral, ear, and infrared thermometers.

By enabling the detection of core body temperature from a wearable device such as a smartwatch or wristband, Rockley said, its sensing platform has the potential to provide real-time insights about a variety of health conditions and enable the early detection of disease states.

“As consumers and practitioners are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of monitoring the conditions that contribute to good health and help identify possible diseases, the ability to monitor key biomarkers like core body temperature on a continuous basis will become extremely important,” said David Klonoff, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “By miniaturizing the ability to monitor core body temperature into a tiny form factor, Rockley has effectively paved the way for a ‘mobile lab’ that people can wear on their wrist. This will be a game-changer for remote patient monitoring and should help health care providers offer better care for their patients.”

Common measurement tools and thermometers are designed for convenience; they are unable to readily measure the temperature inside the body and therefore may not always reflect the body’s true core temperature. Rockley’s wearable probes sense beneath the skin surface to measure core body temperature in a noninvasive and continuous manner. The company's sensing platform uses photonic integrated circuit sensors to generate numerous discrete, narrow-linewidth laser wavelengths across a wide spectral range. These laser wavelengths can detect a level of detail beyond current LED-based sensors and are therefore able to discern varying signatures of water absorption. Rockley’s platform determines core body temperature by comparing these signatures to known properties of the water absorbance spectrum.

“The initial results from these human studies are very encouraging, and they clearly show how effective our wearable sensing platform can be for determining core body temperature,” said Andrew Rickman, Rockley Photonics founder and CEO. “Core body temperature is just one of several biomarker measurements that our platform will support. We believe our ongoing human studies will help us optimize algorithms and refine performance across a broad range of biomarkers, and we look forward to sharing further positive results in the future. As we learn more about each biomarker, we expect that the cloud-based analytics and AI capabilities of our platform can help develop a more holistic assessment of a person’s health and well-being.”

Future studies aim to evaluate and refine the performance of Rockley’s biomarker sensing platform in measuring biomarkers including core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, and glucose trends. The core body temperature studies have been approved by the WIRB — Copernicus Group Institutional Review Board.

Rockley, which in April said that Apple was its largest customer, introduced its “clinic-on-the-wrist” digital health sensor system in July. As in its latest tests, the wearable, spectroscopy-based system noninvasively probes beneath the skin to analyze blood, interstitial fluids, and various layers of the dermis.

Published: December 2021
BusinessRockley Photonicsbody temperaturephotonic integrated circuitsPICtestingtrialstudycore body temperatureBiophotonicsbiomarkersSensors & DetectorsAmericas

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