Wearable biosensors play an important role in managing health by providing useful information about personal activities and physical conditions of the body. Wearable medical sensors are expected to be revolutionary in many application areas, ranging from cardiovascular monitoring to battlefield personnel monitoring and sports medicine. Recent advancements in miniature devices have fostered a dramatic growth of interest in wearable technology. Wearable biosensors (WBS) will permit continuous cardiovascular (CV) monitoring in a number of novels settings.
Wearable biosensors could play an important role in the wireless surveillance of people during hazardous operations (military, firefighting, etc) or such sensors could be dispensed during a mass civilian casualty occurrence. They typically rely on wireless, miniature sensors enclosed in the ring or a shirt. They take advantage of handheld units to temporarily store physiological data and then periodically upload that data to a database server via wireless LAN or a Cradle that allows internet connection and used for clinical diagnosis.
The use of wearable biosensors that permit constant observation of physiological signals is important for the advancement of both the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In addition to this portable biosensors have helped to restrict the use of expensive technologies in monitoring patients for days, weeks.
Some known wearable biosensors have been discussed here.
Monitoring wound healing
Researchers at Centre Suisse d’ Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM), a private non-profit company in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, have designed an optical sensing system for in-situ monitoring of wound healing. Its primary use is to monitor chronic wounds, which fail to heal in an orderly set of stages and in a predictable period of time, causing sufferers severe emotional and physical stress.
Diabetes monitoring device by Google
A smart contact lens that measures glucose levels in tears is being tested by Google, the same group that brought us Google Glass. Built into the lens, embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material, is a miniature wireless chip and glucose sensor that can, in prototype form, generate a reading every second. The aim of the technology is to help diabetic patients to manage their disease and they are investigating a built-in early warning system that uses miniature LED lights to inform the wearer when a glucose threshold is reached.
Chem-Phys patch Device
A hybrid wearable device named Chem-Phys patch developed by Engineers at the University of California, San Diego. The patch provides access to both electrocardiogram (ECG) signals and lactate level measurements in real-time. This device is an advanced version of the wearable biosensor and can be used in multiple applications like athletes monitoring, their fitness regime, managing cardiovascular diseases of patients, instantly diagnose medical conditions and many more.
Advantages of Wearable Biosensors:
- Helps in monitoring physical conditions
- Reduces the use of expensive hospitalized treatments
- Cost effective
- Implementation is quite simple
- Military applications
- Monitoring environmental conditions