Ambitious VitalSpex non-invasive blood sugar and blood pressure wrist-based sensing platform passes first human trials
Rockley has revealed that the first stage of testing for blood pressure measurement with its biomarker sensing platform (“VitalSpex”) has passed with flying colors. The company’s sensors were used by 40 volunteers and compared with “an off-the-shelf photoplethysmography (PPG) module” to test for accuracy. Many smartwatches offer PPG sensing, with the Apple Watch Series 4 being one of the first examples, and sometimes a blood pressure cuff is additionally required for calibration. However, the Rockley platform was able to produce more accurate results than the green-LED sensors used by PPG-capable wearables and without the need for a cuff.
The VitalSpex platform is an ambitious venture that is planned to result in two module variants: VitalSpex Baseline and VitalSpex Pro. Both will offer measurements for heart rate, respiration, SpO2, temperature, blood pressure, and hydration, while the VitalSpex Pro module will go much further by offering non-invasive blood sugar readings (glucose indicator), blood lactate measurements, and it will even record blood alcohol content. Rockley is working on constructing the platform as a wrist-based solution, which it may produce itself or license to other companies to implement into their own future smartwatches and wearables.
Rockley has been in the news before, mainly because of its close ties with Apple, and this latest news is just as big for those looking for ways of monitoring their state of health without having to rely on laboratories, finger-sticking, or blood pressure machines and cuffs. The company sees this first blood pressure trial success as an important step toward its goal of offering a mobile platform with “powerful multi-biomarker functionality”. A total of 480 readings were taken during the trial, with its success pointing to a bright future for the VitalSpex platform that has been called a “clinic on the wrist".