Briefing Notes

CES 2022

#2: Technology Trends for Digital Healthcare and Wearables

New technology targeting healthcare and wellness takes center stage at CES this year. This CES healthcare briefing note is the second of three brought to you by Rockley Photonics and focuses on the breakthrough technology enabling healthcare and well-being.

Tomorrow’s briefing note will look at new and exciting applications for wellness and healthcare wearables. If you missed yesterday’s briefing note on market trends, read it here.

Why photonics-based sensing is a game-changer for wearables

  • Today’s wearables combine LEDs with PPG sensors to monitor biomarkers such as heart rate, oxygen saturation levels, ECG, respiration rate, and sleep patterns.
  • LED-based sensors can detect biomarkers non-invasively and have proven to be an affordable and convenient solution for use in different form factors, such as smartwatches and wristbands.
  • However, LED-based sensors have been known to have significant drawbacks:
    • By using a very narrow band on the light spectrum – visible and near-infrared (NIR) light – they detect only a limited range of biomarkers.
    • They have low signal-to-noise ratios, which limit accuracy and precision.
  • Photonics-based sensing uses infrared lasers to provide a non-invasive method to continuously monitor multiple biomarkers over a wide span of wavelengths.
  • This breakthrough technology supports a broad range of physiological measurements, including heart rate (HR and HRV), core body temperature, hydration, blood pressure, blood oxygen, alcohol, lactate, and glucose indicators.
  • Photonics-based sensing technology, with the ability to integrate numerous lasers on a single chip, offers:
    • 1 million times higher resolution than LED
    • 1,000 times higher accuracy than LED
    • 100 times broader range than LED
  • Photonics-based sensors can reach into multiple layers of the dermis, probing non-invasively into the skin and into the interstitial fluid within the dermis.
  • Deeper sensing allows the detection and measurement of a wider range of biochemical components and materials.
  • Under-the-skin measurement produces more accurate readings, without causing environmental disturbances or discomfort.
  • More accurate sensors provide a greater level of detail about key biomarkers.
  • Combining more accurate sensors with cloud-based data analytics and AI enables a new level of analysis for managing health and wellness.

“Photonics is the breakthrough technology enabling manufacturers to miniaturize spectrophotometer functionality that was previously available only in benchtop clinical equipment. Using ‘clinic-on-the-wrist’ technology has the potential to help consumers and clinicians to detect diseases earlier, improve well-being and fitness while focusing on preventive healthcare.”

Andrew Rickman

Dr. Andrew Rickman
CEO and chairman, Rockley Photonics

About Rockley Photonics and Healthcare

Rockley Photonics is a pioneer in silicon photonics and has developed the underlying photonics technology that is driving new sensing capabilities in the health and wellness monitoring space.

Rockley has contracted with 12 global consumer electronics companies, including six of the top-ten players in the wearables market, representing more than 60% market share. Additionally, Rockley is working with five medical device companies, including two of the top-ten players operating in the medical equipment market.

For more information, download our white paper Real-Time, Non-Invasive Biomarker Sensing on the Wrist.

With the flexibility and power of an innovative platform that drives multiple applications, Rockley is positioned to be the leading supplier of integrated optical components for dynamic, high-growth market sectors, including consumer sensors, healthcare, and data communications.

We have offices in California, Finland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom .

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