Researchers create self-healing health wearable powered by body heat

Wearable sensors can track vital signs and never needs charging

Serious health wearables are going to be a big deal. Not just because Apple, Fitbit, Samsung and others are in this space, but because some of the biggest innovation is happening in this space right now.

The latest to throw their hat into the ring are researchers from the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who have built a system of wearable monitors with sensors that can detect vital signs as early markers for disease.

Essential reading: Best Apple Health compatible apps and devices

While this is not the first time we've heard about a wearables that can monitor your vitals, this setup is a bit more unique for the simple fact that it's powered by body heat and from energy produced when the wearer moves. But that's not all. The system can even repair itself if it becomes torn or scratched, so would potentially be a cost effective setup for hospitals and would also make it a valuable and non-invasive monitoring tool for long-term health studies.

Normal health is characterized by known markers such as 60 to 100 heart beats per minute and 7 to 8 breaths per minute," said Prof. Haick. "If we detect dramatic changes in the various markers in real time, we can refer the patient to a more comprehensive diagnosis and prevent disease from developing or worsening."

The wearable system was presented in a paper entitled Advanced Materialsby Technicon Professor Hossam Haick and postdoctoral researcher Weiwei Wu who devised the setup. Haick has already experimented with the advanced self-healing material for a flexible sensor that would similarly be used for this wearable and is made up of a self-healing substrate, high-conductivity electrodes and molecularly modified gold nanoparticles.

The question ultimately, though, is when we can actually see this tech being put to use. While the components to build the system already exist, the platform that pulls everything together still needs to be built. Haick's research group are currently in the process of developing that platform that would bring this potentially lifesaving wearable system to life.

Source: Israel 21 C

Researchers create self-healing health wearable powered by body heat


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