According to reports, the world’s first consumer spectroscopy module for smartphones is a near-IR module designed to help with personal health monitoring.
Designed to operate on Qualcomm’s most recent Snapdragon 8 gen3 smartphone platform, the module was unveiled at the company’s Snapdragon Summit 2023 and may make it easier for people to receive personalized healthcare recommendations.
The module, which was developed in conjunction with near-IR spectroscopy developer and BASF subsidiary trinamiX, LED supplier Lumileds, and data network expert Viavi Solutions, is intended to identify biomarkers that were previously “invisible,” according to the developers.
“In the future, consumers will be able to use their mobile devices to visualize biomarkers and check them non-invasively anytime and anywhere,” stated trinamiX.
“Based on real, molecular measurements, smart apps will provide well-founded, personalized recommendations for skin care, nutrition, and many other applications.”
Thanks to the partnership, Lumileds was able to provide a broadband LED source with long-wave near-IR emission that, according to product data, satisfied the size, energy consumption, lifetime, and stability requirements of smartphones. Viavi provided optical filters that made it possible to extract biomarker data from the spectral response of the subject.
TrinamiX, which also provided spectroscopy and chemometrics technology, specifically developed a detector and read-out electronics for the module in a size compatible with a smartphone utilizing proprietary encapsulation technology.
first applications for hydration and skin care
The sensor is an extension of tinamiX’s ongoing initiative, known as Consumer Spectroscopy, to integrate near-IR with smartphones and enable non-invasive molecular biomarker measurements on such devices.
At the 2020 Snapdragon Summit, the company first presented its vision for Consumer Spectroscopy. It stated that the cloud computing infrastructure and Qualcomm’s processor platform would enable AI data processing, improving the technology’s diagnostic capabilities.
Currently, the trinamiX Consumer Spectroscopy module is 6.5 x 10 x 10 millimeters in size and uses near-IR spectroscopy with diffuse reflectance at wavelengths ranging from 1000 to 3000 nanometers. With the current design, a spot size of 12.25 square millimeters is illuminated.
In order to test the near-IR module’s potential for molecular biomarker measurement-based skin health analysis, the developers have partnered with skincare suppliers Revea. According to Revea, skin moisture will be the first use case, enabling users to monitor hydration levels and select the ideal treatment for their skin type with a quick smartphone scan.
Future developments in wearables, IoT devices, and other consumer electronics could see the technology used for broader purposes. TrinamiX’s roadmap for Consumer Spectroscopy includes alerts for persistently elevated glucose levels and the measurement of lactic acid to evaluate muscle performance.
Noman Rangwala of Lumileds stated, “The numerous applications this innovation enables in consumer medical applications are truly impactful.”