The University of Bristol (UK) spinout, Dynamic Therapeutics, has received the Blavatnik Prize for its U-Rhythm technology, which can capture up to 72 samples over 24 hours with data on hormone production.

The Blavatnik Prize for Innovation is funded by UK-based venture capital (VC) firm QantX. The VC firm also provides up to £50,000 ($62,592) in non-dilutive funding as part of the prize.

U-Rhythm measures biologically active molecules over a period of time which can be analysed to identify potential disruptions that could affect a patient’s health. This is particularly useful in monitoring hormone levels, as these change throughout the day and can vary between the different phases of the menstrual cycle in females.

In a proof-of-concept trial, the portable implantable microdialysis device was used to collect serum from the abdominal subcutaneous fat of individuals at 20-minute intervals, even when the person was sleeping. The samples subsequently underwent liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) measurement, and the analysis was used to establish normal and abnormal patterns of adrenal steroid hormone release.

“We know more than ever about the workings of the human body and yet the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions remain challenging, particularly those caused by hormonal imbalances which vary with time,” said QantX CEO Richard Haycock.

“Whilst clinicians rely on single point-in-time tests such as blood and urine, the U-RHYTHM device has the potential to capture dynamic information about a patient’s health and improve diagnosis.”

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Dynamic aims to become the “gold standard” for time-based measurement of hormones to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and treatment for patients with conditions like Type 1 diabetes and hypertension.

The wearable technology market has seen high growth in recent years. As per a GlobalData report, the market for wearable technology is expected to grow to $156bn by 2024 and is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 15% up to 2030.

Multiple companies are developing wearable tech for various purposes, including tracking multiple health parameters. In December 2023, Empatica started developing a clinical trial for an artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted wearable device to predict refractory seizures. The trial is expected to start enrollment this year.

In October 2023, California-based start-up, CARI Health, has a $2.8m fast-track grant to bring its wearable medication monitor to market in the US. The device is expected to be used to curb overdose rates and drug abuse.