Rockley Photonics reaches key milestone in the development of Cuffless, Non-Invasive Blood Pressure Measurement on the Wrist, potentially enabling a new measurement technique for Cardiovascular Health

Achieves positive results in pilot human study assessing blood pressure measurement capabilities from a Rockley-powered wrist-worn device, setting the stage for larger study

Demonstrates signal quality and measurement technique capable of potentially providing a new continuous measurement technique for cardiovascular health

Advances readiness of Rockley sensing platform’s broad biomarker detection capabilities for Rockley’s customer base of 17 global consumer electronics and medical device companies

Rockley Photonics Holdings, a global leader in photonics-based health monitoring and communications solutions, announced that the company has successfully completed the first stage of its human studies examining the measurement of blood pressure using Rockley’s biomarker sensing platform.

In this pilot study, Rockley researchers have demonstrated that a photonics-based sensor worn on the wrist can measure blood pressure non-invasively. Instead of applying a blood pressure cuff, which can be awkward or inconvenient and cause discomfort for some, Rockley’s wearable wrist-worn solution has the potential to provide hassle-free, clinical-grade data about key cardiovascular indicators.

The Rockley blood pressure sensing device used in the study features a unique laser-based approach and advanced algorithms employing Rockley’s cloud and AI capabilities. The signals produced by the Rockley sensor were compared directly with signals produced at the same time and location by an off-the-shelf photoplethysmography (PPG) module, which employs green light-emitting diodes (LED) and is the technology employed by most wearables on the market, often with the aid of a blood pressure cuff for calibration. The signals from the Rockley sensor were shown to provide stronger correlation with the control blood pressure readings from a cuff than standard green-LED PPG signals.

In addition to demonstrating blood pressure measurement, the study showed that Rockley’s wrist-based sensing platform produces a strong correlation of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) measurement with results from commonly used electrocardiogram (ECG) equipment.

Rockley’s in-house blood pressure studies are part of a continuing slate of human 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 blood pressure study, which was conducted under IRB approval by the WIRB-Copernicus Group Institutional Review Board (WCG IRB), involved multiple measurements from 40 human subjects resulting in over 480 total readings.

Following the recent success of our core body temperature studies, the results of our pilot blood pressure study using wrist-based measurement are extremely encouraging,” said Dr. Hooman Abediasl, senior vice president of product engineering at Rockley. “These positive results represent a huge step forward in validating our sensing solution and its ability to deliver powerful multi-biomarker functionality in a highly manufacturable wearable form factor.”

Rockley announced its biomarker sensing platform in the summer of 2021. Since the announcement, the Rockley sensing platform has continued to gain significant traction in both the consumer and medtech markets. To date, Rockley has contracted with seventeen global manufacturers: twelve global consumer electronics customers, including six of the top-ten players in the wearables market, and five medical device companies, including two of the top-ten players in the medical equipment space.

Demonstrating the ability to measure blood pressure from a wrist-worn device is essential in the development of our biosensing platform, for us and for our growing customer base,” added Dr. Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer and founder of Rockley. “This study represents a critical step towards achieving our goal of measuring multiple biomarkers. Even more exciting is that the results from this study have demonstrated a quality of both signal and measurement techniques that have the potential to enable a new class of cardiovascular health monitoring. Whether in consumer wearables or medtech, our customers understand that the ability to measure blood pressure from a wristband or smartwatch could have an enormous impact on personal healthcare.”

Rockley believes that the combination of its sensing technology and its cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure can provide better information for healthcare providers and greater peace of mind for patients, athletes, and people anywhere who’d like meaningful insights into their health and well-being.