The Self-Powered Sensor That Could Enable Remote Medical Monitoring
Want to learn more about self-powered sensors that could change medical monitoring? Check out this post to learn more about IoT, medical monitoring, and autonomous cars.
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Being able to monitor patients practically 24/7 is something of a holy grail for the medical industry, especially for patients with long-term conditions that require early detection of complications.
Progress is slowly being made, with a recent paper by researchers at the University of Waterloo that highlights the extent of this progress. It describes the creation of a small, tube-like device that is fitted to the braces patients are given after joint surgery. The sensor sends information to computers or mobile devices to enable the range of motion of the wearer to be tracked.
“That data would be continuously collected, so it would be as though the physician or physiotherapist was always there, always observing the patient,” the researchers say.
While the paper describes the use case of motion tracking, the team believes that it can also be used in other ways, including non-medical use cases, such as tracking the performance of tires on autonomous vehicles.
The project is in the early stages, but a prototype was built and tested by the research team that harvested energy from a combination of electromagnetism and triboelectricity, which allows the sensor to work without having a battery attached.
This efficient energy source makes the sensors especially useful in environments where battery usage is either complicated or expensive. The sensors, which are about 6cm by 1cm, could be built commercially for as little as $5 each.
The team is now working on making them even smaller and more sensitive while continuing to work on software that can be used to process the data generated by these devices. In addition to medical uses, the team believes that this could make them especially valuable to the automotive sector by allowing autonomous vehicles to make instant adjustments in their steering based upon environmental conditions.
“Based on the forces, the interaction between the road and the tires, we could actually detect ice or rain,” they say. “That is extremely important information for autonomous driving.”
Published at DZone with permission of Adi Gaskell, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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