Rockley Photonics announces results of preliminary human studies involving measurement of core body temperature

Rockley Photonics, a global leader in photonics-based health monitoring and communications solutions, announced that the company has successfully completed the first stages of its preliminary human studies examining the measurement of core body temperature using its non-invasive biomarker sensing platform.

In these studies, Rockley researchers have demonstrated that a photonics-based sensor detecting water spectra in different layers of the dermis can produce temperature measurements that correlate more closely with reference sensors for core body temperature than do auxiliary sensors like oral, ear, and infrared thermometers.

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

Core body temperature is a critical parameter that influences the body’s regular function and can affect one’s very survival. A person’s normal temperature can depend on a multitude of factors, and the human body constantly adapts its temperature to environmental conditions.

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 Dr. 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 healthcare providers offer better care for their patients.”

Because common measurement tools and thermometers are designed for convenience, they cannot readily measure the temperature inside the body and therefore may not always reflect the body’s true core temperature. Rockley’s wearable sensing platform probes beneath the surface of the skin to measure core body temperature in a non-invasive and continuous manner.

The Rockley sensing platform uses photonic integrated circuit (PIC) sensors to generate numerous discrete, narrow-linewidth laser wavelengths across a wide spectral range. These laser wavelengths can detect a level of detail beyond LED-based sensors and are therefore able to discern varying signatures of water absorption. Rockley’s platform can determine 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 Dr. Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer and founder of Rockley Photonics. “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.”

Rockley’s in-house core body temperature studies represent the first in a series of studies designed to evaluate and refine the performance of Rockley’s biomarker sensing platform in measuring a wide range of 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.

As its platform enhancements are realized, Rockley believes that its cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure can enable additional capabilities for the fast-growing digital health domain and help individuals make more informed decisions about their health and well-being.