Why Wearable Wireless Sensors Are Proliferating in Healthcare

Why Wearable Wireless Sensors Are Proliferating in Healthcare

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, September 06, 2019

Health trackers are blooming in the market, to bring a revolution in the Healthcare industry, these devices will benefit both the patient and the doctor.

FREMONT, CA: Wearable technologies have bagged in immense popularity these days. These health trackers help a person to lead a healthier and active life. In coming years these tech-gadgets will evolve with exciting capabilities in the future.

Stanford University chemical engineering professor, Zhenan Bao, and her team are trying to develop new stickers to sense sweat and other secretions. It will track variables such as body temperature and stress. This wearable technology called BodyNet will initially be used to monitor sleep disorders or heart conditions. The team is planning to introduce the range of stick-on wireless sensors, to track smartly with a broader range of health indicators currently available in smartphones or watches. In the future, it will be easy to collect physiological data of a person with a full-body skin sensor.

Another obstacle faced by scientists while making body sensors was to create a flexible antenna that could stretch and bend like skin. Screen-printing metallic ink on a rubber sticker solved this issue. As human movements would regularly bend and flex the antenna, the other challenge was using a signal technology that could withstand repeated antenna movement.

Initially, the stickers’ sensors monitored respiration and pulse readings. Now the researchers are studying how to integrate sweat, temperature, and other sensors into their antenna systems.

The BodyNet sticker settled on a design with a variation of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. It has an antenna to harvests a bit of the incoming RFID energy from a receiver on the clothing to power its sensors. The reading collected from the body beams back to the nearby battery-powered receiver.

Stickers are placed in different parts of the body to monitor various activities. Sensors are connected to the wrist and abdomen to monitor the person’s pulse and respiration. Likewise, stickers on the person’s elbows and knees track arm and leg motions.

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There are several benefits of using wearable devices:

1. Get Accountability:  Lack of accountability is the most challenging aspect of leading a healthy life. A fitness tracker is good to maintain accountability. Some fitness trackers come with personalized reminders which enable the user to do the activities on time without missing any.

2. Schedule eating habits: A healthy diet plan acts like a foundation of a healthy life and an active lifestyle. Wearable trackers will help a person to log the food and water intake. These devices can help you to lead a healthy lifestyle by charting the diet plan.

3. Safety tools: These devices not only keep you fit but also act as safety or warning devices. People with heart issues or blood pressure can be benefitted from secure tracking capabilities. These devices can save a life by continuous monitoring and alerting others when a certain critical or abnormality point is reached.

4. Monitor vulnerable patients: Another useful feature of the invention is that it can monitor vulnerable patients from a distance. If a patient is not that seriously ill, the wearable tech can monitor the patient from home itself. After returning from the hospital, these devices can monitor the recovery of the patient quickly.

5. Multitasker: A single device can perform several functions; for example, a single device can monitor the heart rate and sugar level at the same time. Both the clinicians and the patients are benefitted with these devices.

The users of wearable technologies are increasing day by day. With each passing year, wearable fitness trackers are gobbling up the interest. Approximately the number has risen from 325 million to 900 million. Healthcare industry is metamorphosing into an evolved, digitally-advanced, technology-driven sector.

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