Wearables are trying really hard to diffuse into the health scene, globally. Various companies are working on different health wearables to help patients take a deep look into what they are suffering from and how they can control it.
Recently, Researchers at the National Science Foundation’s Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) at North Carolina State University succeeded in developing a complete, low-power wearable system meant to help predict and control or prevent the asthma attacks. Asthma patients only use inhalers to protect themselves from attacks, but that can be completely futile sometimes. On the other hand, Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that over 24 million people are targets of asthma in the US.
Health wearable system developed by the company is called as Health and Environmental Tracker (HET). The system consists of various sensors that compile into the wristband and a patch which is affixed to the chest. The patch also has sensors capable of monitoring the movements, respiratory rate, the amount of oxygen in the blood, movements, wheezing in the lungs and skin impedance of the patients.
The wristband part of the Health and Environmental Tracker tracks environmental factors which many prove to be bad for health. It keeps a check on the amount of ozone in the air, volatile organic compounds, humidity, and temperature etc.
James Dieffenderfer, lead author of the paper and a Ph.D. student stated;
“Right now, people with asthma are asked to use a peak flow meter to measure lung function on a day-to-day basis. That information is used to inform the dosage of prescription drugs used in their inhalers. For HET, we developed a customized self-powered spirometer, which collects more accurate information on lung function and feeds that data into the system.”
Veena Misra, co-author of the paper and a professor of electrical and computer engineering explained the impact of the Health and Environmental Tracker as;
“The impact here is that we have been able to demonstrate power consumption levels that are in the sub-milliwatt levels by using nano-enabled novel sensor technologies. Comparable, existing devices have power consumption levels in the hundreds of milliwatts. This ultra-low power consumption is important because it gives the devices a long battery life, and will make them compatible with the power generated by the body – which is not a lot. It enables a pathway to realize the ASSIST Center’s vision of wearable sensors powered by energy from the body in the near future.”
The Health and Environmental Tracker will prove to be a really beneficial device for asthma patients. It will not only help them cope up with uneasiness when not in good health but will shape them to stay fit. In the case of declining health, it will also alert them to stay put. All in all, this health wearable really manages to spring opportunity for other devices as it promises to fulfill the health needs of asthma patients.