Current-generation wearable devices have had success continuously measuring the activity and heart rate of subjects during exercise and daily life activities, resulting in interesting new data sets that can, though machine learning algorithms, predict a small subset of health conditions. However, this information is only very peripherally related to most health conditions, and thus offers limited utility to a wide range of the population. In this presentation, I will discuss emerging sensor technologies capable of measuring new and interesting parameters that can potentially offer much more meaningful and actionable data sets.
Specifically, I will present recent work on wearable chemical sensors that can, for the first time, continuously monitor a suite of parameters like glucose, alcohol, lactate, and electrolytes, all while wirelessly delivering these results to a smart phone in real time. Demonstration platforms featuring patch, temporary tattoo, and mouthguard form factors will be described, in addition to the corresponding electronics necessary to perform sensor conditioning and wireless readout. Beyond chemical sensors, I will also discuss integration strategies with more conventional electrophysiological and physical parameters like ECG and strain gauges for cardiac and respiration rate monitoring, respectively. Finally, I will conclude the talk by introducing a new form of wireless communications in body-area networks that utilize the body itself as a channel for magnetic energy. Since the power consumption of conventional RF circuits often dominates the power of wearable devices, this new magnetic human body communication technique is specifically architected to dramatically reduce the path loss compared to conventional RF and capacitive human body communication techniques, thereby enabling ultra-low-power body area networks for next-generation wearable devices.
Patrick Mercier, "Beyond activity tracking: next-generation wearable and implantable sensor technologies (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 1019411 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 10, 2017; Published: 12 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2263212.5459357406001.
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