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Wireless and wearable technology for commercial health-monitoring

A research partnership has been established between Tyndall and Sanmina Corporation to develop a wireless and wearable technology for commercial health-monitoring.

The device aims to monitor the heart rate and arterial oxygen saturation, with a long-term view to improve the performance wearables and provide more energy efficient wireless communications.

Bluetooth wireless technology is generally used for short-range wireless sensing applications. It operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. However, at these frequencies, the human body has a significant effect on antenna performance, signal reliability and communications range.

Carlo Webster from Tyndall's commercial team, said: "The 915MHz band with integrated antenna is targeting a significant improvement to current Bluetooth protocols which currently operate at 2.4GHz. This band is primarily absorbed by the human body, thus depleting battery life because of the human environment. This new RF approach along with some patented technology by Sanmina Corporation, may lead to opportunities to integrate the technology into their respective customers’ wearable systems. Thus, enabling longer battery life for future wearable systems."

As part of the collaboration, Tyndall aims to create a sub-GHz wireless solution that has significant benefits for wearable sensing applications when compared with existing 2.4 GHz solutions. These include:

  • The use of lower power radio technology that leads to increased battery lifetime
  • The provision of additional communication channels to mitigate current 2.45 GHz saturation in hospital environments
  • Decreased signal loss due to the human body
  • Increased immunity from radio frequency interference

Bethan Grylls

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