Wireless connectivity is coming to a wearable near you
Wireless connectivity is now a major part of life from mobile phones to computers networking, including TV remotes, GPS mapping and wireless keyboards.
An exciting new healthcare development is the “bodyNET” next generation wireless sensor which sticks to a patient’s skin to monitor pulse and respiration by detecting how the skin stretches or contracts with each heartbeat or breath. A team at Stanford University led by Simiao Niu and Naoji Matsuhisa spent three years designing the chip-free, battery-free on-skin sensors, using RFID technology set in flexible readout circuits attached to clothing.
The receiver is battery-powered and uses Bluetooth to upload data from the sticker sensor to a smartphone or computer. The next step is to integrate sweat, temperature and other sensors into the antenna system, plus increase the distance between the sensor and the receiver.
Whilst not yet ready for market, it is clear that this new form of sensor could provide personalised, long term information on a patient’s activity and state of health. Tracking knee movements, alerting medical staff to a raised temperature or tracking responses to medication changes – a myriad of uses await the final product.
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