Stick on that comfy sensor patch

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /] From the head researcher (John Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) who brought you biodegradable implanted batteries and sensors [TTA 26 March], comes an almost tattoo-like stretchable sensor conforming to the skin which uses off-the-shelf, chip-based electronics for wireless monitoring. It is envisioned for wireless health tracking connecting to smartphones and computers, and for vital monitoring such as ECG and EEG testing, although this Editor would not use the term ‘clinical’ as Gizmodo has done (it is probably at the fairly sound level of an AliveCor.) However the article points out the advantages in long term use–adherence to skin is far more reliable, no dangling pendants or clunky bracelets, and it allows for multiple sensors to be worn comfortably. This type of patch would also be far kinder to the delicate skin of babies and the elderly. For them, it would make consistent long-term telehealth monitoring (e.g. blood pressure, ECG, O2, blood glucose) far easier over time. Perhaps the core of this is the PERS of the future with gait tracking and fall detection. Cost isn’t mentioned, but off the shelf elements undoubtedly are less expensive than custom/bespoke. Published in Science 4 April (abstract and summary; full text requires log in) Also see Editor Charles’ earlier take–maybe Mr. Rogers should speak to him!

Redesigning PERS artistically in Glasgow

Students at the Glasgow (Scotland) School of Arts are participating in a redesign of the traditional medical alarm (PERS)–the ubiquitous (among the old-old) neck or wrist-worn pendant. Sponsored by Chubb Community Care (part of Chubb Fire & Security in the UK, not the insurance company), the challenge is to design a pendant/watch from the user/carer/professional point of view on design and functionality. There are currently five groups competing for a £250 first prize plus second and third prizes. We understand from Chubb that the prizes will be awarded shortly and this Editor will bring you the results. How far afield will the teams will go? We hope as far as they can!  Chubb release

M2M revitalizing PERS, making wireless healthier

…is the surprising conviction of long-time observer Harry Wang of Parks Associates. He’s projecting that nearly all PERS will go M2M as households increasingly lose the land line, and as the current crop of older adults demands ‘anywhere’ coverage. While the numbers will be small in terms of shipping (400,000 in 2016), M2M will be the norm in five years:  more than 61 percent of PERS  in the US shipped in 2017 will feature M2M connectivity, versus only 15 percent in 2012. Wireless carriers are also pushing connectivity in both telecare and telehealth with key device partnerships: Orange and Sprint with IDEAL LIFE, Sprint and BodyMedia, AT&T with Vitality (and many others) and T-Mobile with self-install telecare BeClose.  Undoubtedly this article in e-Commerce Times is a preview to an upcoming study.