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3 Wearable devices in healthcare you probably didn’t know were a thing!


Hey everyone! We’re back with some interesting articles on medicine and its recent

advancements, this is a series so if you haven’t checked out already make sure you

have a look at our previous blogs too.



Alright, as mentioned above through this article we’ll be looking at some wearable

devices in healthcare that are being used or are in the process of development that can

make our lives so much easier moving forward.


As you must be aware this is the age of technology and every year there are some huge

strides taken to make our daily lives convenient and lead us towards the ultimate goal of

hassle-free living.


So without further delay let’s dive in,


1. From dressing smart to smart dressing, have a look at

Smart clothing :




So if you ever wanted to wear a suit that lets you in on your health status and provide

alert notifications just like your favourite superhero Iron Man, yes! Smart clothing can

somewhat be your Jarvis.


"Smart Clothing" enables the covert gathering of various physiological signs of the

human body in order to obtain healthcare big data. The electrocardiograph data

collected by smart clothing is highly helpful for mood monitoring and emotion

recognition. Real-time tactile contact, illness diagnosis, and medical emergency

response are just a few of the common applications.


Materials ranging from conventional cotton, polyester, and nylon to cutting-edge Kevlar

with built-in capabilities can be used to create smart textile fabric. However, at this time,

fabrics that are electrically conductive are of interest. Metal nanoparticles have been

deposited all over woven fibers and fabrics to create materials that are electrically

conductive. The resulting metallic fabrics have high electroactive surface areas, are

hydrophilic, and are conductive. These characteristics make them perfect substrates for

electrochemical biosensing, as shown by the ability to detect DNA and proteins.


Two different types of smart textile (fabric) products have been created and researched.

It has been demonstrated that weaving can be utilised to insert electrically conductive

thread into a fabric. Multiple bodily sensors, including wet gel ECG electrodes, can be

connected to the signal acquisition electronics.


Here are some typical areas of application of smart clothing,


1. Applications for senior patients' healthcare - A significant solution to this

challenging issue is the health monitoring system based on smart clothing

technology, which will enhance the quality of life for senior people. It has the

capacity to continuously track a variety of physiological indicators in elderly

persons in order to maintain their physical health. In order to identify and prevent

diseases, it is also helpful.


2. For athletes and sportsmen, smart

fitness and training - Virtual reality (VR)

or augmented reality (AR) combined with smart clothes will provide considerable guidance to direct professional movements with high user QoE.

Additionally, it will help the coach set up

a reasonable training schedule.



3. Emotion care - When it comes to

emotion care, common wearable body

sensors may cause the patient to feel

uneasy or depressed. Users of the current wearable technology would receive a warning about

their health. For instance, a patient wearing some gadgets may feel uneasy

about them because of their weight and the sense that they are "carrying a

patient's device"


4. ECG monitoring for children and infants - The application scene of ECG

monitoring for youngsters is ideal for smart clothes. The sole requirement is that

the kids wear fashionable, well-fitting attire. Additionally, neither the electrodes

nor the apparatus for collecting data were detectable by the kids. It ensures that

children activities are unaffected, and ECG monitoring will be unintentionally

carried out.


Smart clothing system gathers various physiological indicators of human body through

smart clothing and construct mobile healthcare cloud platform through IoT, mobile

internet, cloud computing, big data and machine learning. This paper shows the details

of design and implementation of smart clothing. Also this paper introduces the

procedure of smart clothing obtaining data and signal processing by taking

electrocardiogram monitoring as an example.



2. Heard about Electric skin? check it out:




Because human skin is so intuitive, it's simple to overlook the complexity of the body's

greatest sensory organ. The physical barrier that separates us from our surroundings is our skin.


Our skin contains a variety of diverse, highly specialized sense receptors that enable it

to perceive with such great sophistication.

The goal of developing artificial skin with sensory abilities similar to those of humans is

driven by the potential applications of such expansive, multi-sensory surfaces in

autonomous artificial intelligence (such as robots), medical diagnosis, and replacement

prosthetic devices that can provide the same, if not superior, level of sensory perception

as the organic equivalent.

Sensitive skin, smart skin, or electronic skin are terms used to describe artificial skin

with similar sensory qualities.


Electronic skin, or "e-skin" functions with an emphasis on the technology required for

the three main applications of skin i.e. attachable electronics, robotics, and prosthetics

are:


● Materials with inherent stretchability and self-healing characteristics are crucial

.

● Tactile sensing abilities including the detection of

pressure, strain, slide, force vector, and

temperature are crucial.


● Large area integration on 3D surfaces in an easy

and scalable way is essential for robotics and

prosthetics.


E-skin has potential to:


● Greatly facilitate the development of interactive,

adaptable robots that are capable of carrying out complex tasks in less regimented surroundings.


● Promote optical and display conformability.


● Transform healthcare by introducing biometric

prosthetics, continuous health monitoring technologies, and unmatched

diagnostic and therapeutic proficiency.


In many ways, sensors and circuitry have already surpassed the characteristics of

human skin. There are touch and temperature sensors available with increased

sensitivity above natural skin, flexible tactile sensors with substantially higher spatial

resolution than human skin, and electronic devices that can stretch many times farther

than skin.


Despite significant advancement, more work needs to be done before the objective of

incorporating various functionality into large-area, affordable sensor arrays is fulfilled. E-

skin needs active circuitry from a design perspective in order to address several devices

quickly and with little wiring complexity. Furthermore, in order to accommodate the

user varied movements, it is essential to be able to simulate the mechanical

characteristics of human skin (such as elasticity and stretchability). This can be

achieved by using rigid device islands connected by flexible interconnects or materials

that are naturally stretchable. The former can be preferable in terms of cost and

robustness whereas the latter makes extensive use of stiff devices' optimization.


3. Did you know your sweat can let you know your health

status? Here are Wearable Flexible Sweat sensors (WFSs) :




Sweat, which is readily available from the human body's skin surface and is released by

eccrine glands, is a rich source of physiological information and contains metabolites as

well as electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium ions) (such as lactate and glucose).


Due to its ease of access, sweat is a particularly important biofluid since, unlike other

biofluids like blood, it may be collected without intrusive procedures.


Wearable biosensors are increasingly being used for point-of-care medical and

physiological monitoring. In recent years, WFSs have been widely employed in

investigations to find analyte concentrations related to illnesses and other health issues.

However, they often lacked on-site circuitry for in-situ analysis and calibration as well as

simultaneous multi-analyte detection.


Multiple sensors can now be combined into a single mechanically flexible multiplexed

system with on-site circuitry for signal processing and wireless data transmission thanks

to advancements in fabrication processes and material science. These tools offer a

chance to more accurately calibrate analytes that depend on other variables (such as

the sweat rate dependence of glucose).


High sensitivity, low LoD, and big linear range have all been found to improve with the

increased surface area and porosity provided by, for example, nanofibre and

nanoparticle-modified electrodes. Combining customized materials has also been

effective for boosting sensor capabilities. Due to their higher specificity, non-enzymatic

electrochemical sensors can be made with better LoD, sensitivity, and stability than

enzymatic sensors. This is accomplished by doping non-conductive but highly selective

materials with conductive nanoparticles.


WFSs are evolving in an area

that is constantly developing

thanks to the development of

MEMS and NEMS technologies,

which will eventually result in

lower manufacturing costs. For

sensor manufacturing to

continue to enhance sensitivity,

selectivity, detection range, and

LoD by utilizing various

combinations of nanofibres,


nanoparticles, highly selective materials, and highly conductive materials,

breakthroughs in material science are also required. This is crucial to get a sensor

response as close to the optimal Nernstian response as possible and a low LoD for

analytes with low sweat concentrations, such as glucose relative to blood glucose. To

prevent false positives from being produced by very sensitive sensors, considerable

thought must still be taken.


 

Hope these articles were informative and added to your knowledge, as said by Neil

Armstrong, “Research is creating new knowledge”. Make sure you keep learning and

growing, we at GCMER help you do that.



Want to know what all this fuss about Elon Musk and neura link is?

Let us know in the comment section ⬇️⬇️



See you soon!



Further reading:

1. DOI 10.1007/s11036-016-0745-1

2. https://doi.org/10.1109/JPROC.2019.2941665

3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0217

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