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Archive for the ‘wearables’ category

Sep 13, 2019

New health monitors are flexible, transparent and graphene enabled

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, mobile phones, wearables

New technological devices are prioritizing non-invasive tracking of vital signs, not only for fitness monitoring, but also for the prevention of common health problems such as heart failure, hypertension and stress-related complications, among others. Wearables based on optical detection mechanisms are proving an invaluable approach for reporting on our bodies inner workings and have experienced a large penetration into the consumer market in recent years. Current wearable technologies, based on non-flexible components, do not deliver the desired accuracy and can only monitor a limited number of vital signs. To tackle this problem, conformable non-invasive optical-based sensors that can measure a broader set of vital signs are at the top of the end-users’ wish list.

In a recent study published in Science Advances, ICFO researchers have demonstrated a new class of flexible and transparent devices that are conformable to the skin and can provide continuous and accurate measurements of multiple human vital signs. These devices can measure heart rate, respiration rate and blood pulse oxygenation, as well as exposure to UV radiation from the sun. While the device measures the different parameters, the read-out is visualized and stored on a mobile phone interface connected to the wearable via Bluetooth. In addition, the device can operate battery-free since it is charged wirelessly through the phone.

“It was very important for us to demonstrate the wide range of potential applications for our advanced light sensing technology through the creation of various prototypes, including the flexible and transparent bracelet, the health patch integrated on a mobile phone and the UV monitoring patch for sun exposure. They have shown to be versatile and efficient due to these unique features,” reports Dr. Emre Ozan Polat, first author of this publication.

Sep 12, 2019

New Wearable Device Could Accurately Detect Cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, wearables

cancer

Biopsies are currently the best way to detect cancer, but they’re invasive, uncomfortable, and can take a while to come back. Researchers have long been trying to find ways to eliminate the need for biopsies, and a team from the University of Michigan may have found one. Their new device, which is currently being tested, may be able to detect cancer cells that are circulating in a patient’s blood.

The University of Michigan team calls their new device “the epitome of precision medicine.” Dr. Daniel Hayes, Professor of Breast Cancer Research at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer center, believes that getting cancer cells from a patient’s blood could help researchers to learn more about the makeup of the tumor. He and his team created a wearable device that looks through the blood to filter out cancerous cells. If the device is found to be successful, it may eventually replace liquid biopsies (blood or urine samples) that pick up cancer markers.

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Sep 9, 2019

World’s smallest accelerometer points to new era in wearables, gaming

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, wearables

In what could be a breakthrough for body sensor and navigation technologies, researchers at KTH have developed the smallest accelerometer yet reported, using the highly conductive nanomaterial, graphene.

Each passing day, nanotechnology and the potential for material make new progress. The latest step forward is a tiny made with graphene by an international research team involving KTH Royal Institute of Technology, RWTH Aachen University and Research Institute AMO GmbH, Aachen.

Among the conceivable applications are monitoring systems for cardiovascular diseases and ultra-sensitive wearable and portable motion-capture technologies.

Sep 4, 2019

A biocompatible magnetic skin that could enable new wearable systems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, wearables

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have recently developed a flexible and imperceptible magnetic skin that adds permanent magnetic properties to all surfaces to which it is applied. This artificial skin, presented in a paper published in Wiley’s Advanced Materials Technologies journal, could have numerous interesting applications. For instance, it could enable the development of more effective tools to aid people with disabilities, help biomedical professionals to monitor their patients’ vital signs, and pave the way for new consumer tech.

“Artificial skins are all about extending our senses or abilities,” Adbullah Almansouri, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “A great challenge in their development, however, is that they should be imperceptible and comfortable to wear. This is very difficult to achieve reliably and durably, if we need stretchable electronics, batteries, substrates, antennas, sensors, wires, etc. We decided to remove all these delicate components from the skin itself and place them in a comfortable nearby location (i.e., inside of eye glasses or hidden in a fabric).”

The , developed under the supervision of Prof. Jürgen Kosel, is magnetic, thin and highly flexible. When it is worn by a human user, it can be easily tracked by a nearby magnetic sensor. For instance, if a user wears it on his eyelid, it allows for his to be tracked; if worn on fingers, it can help to monitor a person’s physiological responses or even to control switches without touching them.

Aug 27, 2019

Artificial muscles bloom, dance, and wave

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, wearables

Wearing a flower brooch that blooms before your eyes sounds like magic. KAIST researchers have made it real with robotic muscles.

Researchers have developed an ultrathin, for soft robotics. The advancement, recently reported in the journal Science Robotics, was demonstrated with a robotic blooming flower brooch, dancing robotic butterflies and fluttering tree leaves on a kinetic art piece.

The robotic equivalent of a that can move is called an . The actuator expands, contracts or rotates like using a stimulus such as electricity. Engineers around the world are striving to develop more dynamic actuators that respond quickly, can bend without breaking, and are very durable. Soft, robotic muscles could have a wide variety of applications, from wearable electronics to advanced prosthetics.

Aug 26, 2019

Augmented reality glasses may help people with low vision better navigate their environment

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, virtual reality, wearables

Nearly one in 30 Americans over the age of 40 experience low vision—significant visual impairment that can’t be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery.

In a new study of patients with , an inherited degenerative eye disease that results in poor , Keck School of Medicine of USC researchers found that adapted augmented reality (AR) glasses can improve patients’ mobility by 50% and grasp performance by 70%.

“Current wearable low vision technologies using are limited and can be difficult to use or require patients to undergo extensive training,” said Mark Humayun, MD, Ph.D., director of the USC Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, codirector of the USC Roski Eye Institute and University Professor of Ophthalmology at the Keck School.

Aug 25, 2019

Robotic Neck Brace Dramatically Improves Functions of ALS Patients

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension, robotics/AI, wearables

New York, NY—August 12, 2019—A novel neck brace, which supports the neck during its natural motion, was designed by Columbia engineers. This is the first device shown to dramatically assist patients suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in holding their heads and actively supporting them during range of motion. This advance would result in improved quality of life for patients, not only in improving eye contact during conversation, but also in facilitating the use of eyes as a joystick to control movements on a computer, much as scientist Stephen Hawkins famously did.


A team of engineers and neurologists led by Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine, designed a comfortable and wearable robotic neck brace that incorporates both sensors and actuators to adjust the head posture, restoring roughly 70% of the active range of motion of the human head. Using simultaneous measurement of the motion with sensors on the neck brace and surface electromyography (EMG) of the neck muscles, it also becomes a new diagnostic tool for impaired motion of the head-neck. Their pilot study was published August 7 in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

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Aug 23, 2019

Wearable patches could ‘decode’ sweat

Posted by in categories: electronics, wearables

Mass produced sensors can almost instantly detect and analyse…

Aug 19, 2019

A wireless body area sensor network based on stretchable passive tags

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, wearables

Stanford engineers have developed a new type of wearable technology called BodyNet that detects physiological signals emanating from the skin. The novel tech consists of wireless sensors that stick like band-aids and beam readings.


A body area sensor network (bodyNET) is a collection of networked sensors that can be used to monitor human physiological signals. For its application in next-generation personalized healthcare systems, seamless hybridization of stretchable on-skin sensors and rigid silicon readout circuits is required. Here, we report a bodyNET composed of chip-free and battery-free stretchable on-skin sensor tags that are wirelessly linked to flexible readout circuits attached to textiles. Our design offers a conformal skin-mimicking interface by removing all direct contacts between rigid components and the human body. Therefore, this design addresses the mechanical incompatibility issue between soft on-skin devices and rigid high-performance silicon electronics. Additionally, we introduce an unconventional radiofrequency identification technology where wireless sensors are deliberately detuned to increase the tolerance of strain-induced changes in electronic properties. Finally, we show that our soft bodyNET system can be used to simultaneously and continuously analyse a person’s pulse, breath and body movement.

Aug 17, 2019

Artificial throat could someday help mute people ‘speak’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, wearables

Most people take speech for granted, but it’s actually a complex process that involves both motions of the mouth and vibrations of folded tissues, called vocal cords, within the throat. If the vocal cords sustain injuries or other lesions, a person can lose the ability to speak. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a wearable artificial throat that, when attached to the neck like a temporary tattoo, can transform throat movements into sounds.

Scientists have developed detectors that measure movements on human skin, such as pulse or heartbeat. However, the devices typically can’t convert these motions into sounds. Recently, He Tian, Yi Yang, Tian-Ling Ren and colleagues developed a prototype artificial throat with both capabilities, but because the device needed to be taped to the skin, it wasn’t comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. So the researchers wanted to develop a thinner, skin-like artificial throat that would adhere to the neck like a temporary tattoo.

To make their artificial throat, the researchers laser-scribed graphene on a thin sheet of polyvinyl alcohol film. The flexible device measured 0.6 by 1.2 inches, or about double the size of a person’s thumbnail. The researchers used water to attach the film to the skin over a volunteer’s throat and connected it with electrodes to a small armband that contained a circuit board, microcomputer, power amplifier and decoder. When the volunteer noiselessly imitated the throat motions of speech, the instrument converted these movements into emitted sounds, such as the words “OK” and “No.” The researchers say that, in the future, mute people could be trained to generate signals with their throats that the device would translate into speech.

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