Rockley testing a wearable fitness tracker that uses infrared to penetrate deeper into your skin

Rockley Bioptx Biosensing Band 2
Rockley Bioptx Biosensing Band 2 (Image credit: Rockley)

Rockley Photonics has started sending out its innovative new Bioptx Biosensing Band health tracking wearable – which uses multiband light extending into the infrared to penetrate deeper into the skin – to test customers for testing.

Rockley Photonics CEO and chairman Dr Andrew Rickman says told us in an interview last year that a ‘wearable lab’ on your wrist would be coming in 2023, and it looks like the company has achieved that aim.

The Bioptx Biosensing Band represents a new class of wearable infrared spectroscopic biosensing device. Rockley claims it is, “the first integrated wearable device to combine Rockley’s proprietary infrared (IR) laser sensing technology, visible photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensors, and software-configurable proprietary algorithms, enabling the ability to detect and measure multiple biomarkers.”

Or more simply, Rockley reckons this improves on the way light emitted by the device is projected and sensed by your body over smartwatches, which generally use use broad spectrum LEDs that fail to measure certain characteristics patrticularly well. The Bioptx Bands uses narrow, multiband LEDs and spectrophotometer sensors to measure under the skin where current watches cannot. In other words, it projects light deeper under your skin to monitor your health even more accurately and extensively.

Rockley Bioptx Biosensing Band

The strap may be blue but the sensors use infrared (Image credit: Rockley)

All of which means that Bioptx Biosensing Band can do things other health tracker can’t. For example, it utilizes a new way to measure your temperature continuously, based on the way water in your tissue absorbs light.

The Bioptx Biosensing Band weighs 1.76oz (50g), and its dimensions are 1.79in x 1.63in x 0.59in (45mm x 41mm x 15mm). It can run up to three days before recharging. 

Biomarkers it measures include hydration, temperature, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen saturation. These categories can be expanded through software updates from Bluetooth-connected smartphones.

Rockley Photonics CEO and chairman Dr Andrew Rickman says: “As we have recently demonstrated with our non-invasive glucose sensing and cuffless blood pressure studies, laser-based biosensors will continue to expand and enhance our understanding of human health.”

Rockley is focused on the development of a range of photonic integrated circuits, sensors, and full-stack solutions.