World Health organization (WHO)’s research shows that a third of adults, as of 2018, are not getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Obesity is a current epidemic and has been claimed a national emergency in the UK.
A recent solution being used are consumer-based healthcare technology such as smartwatches and wearables. They increase physical activity participation and use non-invasive methods to track vital signs. The only drawback is that they are usually large, made of rigid material and very uncomfortable to be worn continuously.
Dr. Emre Ozan Polat and others have developed a new flexible and transparent design wearable made with graphene sensitized with semiconducting quantum dots.
The new technology can successfully track heart rate and oxygen saturation. It can also measure blood pressure. All this while maintaining its structure as a transparent and flexible band.
The group has used this technology on several different healthcare projects such as; a heart-rate monitoring bracelet and a wireless ultra-violet monitoring patch. Using a mobile phone, this device tells the user about the amount of UV radiation they are exposed to and recommended remaining exposure.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Health and wellness trackers based on optical absorption can work in two ways. The flexible heartrate bracelet operated using reflectance mode. An integrated green LED is shown through the skin and onto the user’s blood vessels. The cardiac cycle changes the volume of the vessels, which determines how much light is reflected towards the photodetector in the bracelet. In this way, the heart rate can be reliably and accurately extracted from the user’s wrist. Transmission mode is used to operate the mobile phone integrated health patch in a similar way. However, instead of using an LED, the patch uses ambient light passing through the thumb tissue to measure the changes in cardiac cycle.
Health and fitness trackers based on optical absorption have been available for some time. Though comfortable sensors that are stylish and aesthetically pleasing are very rare. Using graphene in their devices Polat and his team have opened the doors for discreet and appealing fitness trackers. These low-priced devices can be charged wirelessly.
Go get yours now!!