Japanese researchers have developed electronic skin that can both measure the wearer's vital signs and display them, which is a technology that will prove to be very valuable in the healthcare industry.
There have been many kinds of electronic skin projects, but this one from Japan may be the first one to arrive to the market.
Electronic Skin That Measures And Displays Vital Signs
The electronic skin comes with a thin, elastic display that may be pasted directly on the wearer's skin without causing any discomfort, even if attached to parts of the body that often move. The display, which is just 1 millimeter thick but comes as large as 6 centimeters by 10 centimeters, is made up of micro LEDs that are held within a rubber sheet. The patch may also be stretched by up to 45 percent of its original length, and can withstand more wear and tear compared to similar projects.
The electronic skin uses semiconductor technology to measure the wearer's vital signs, with the information then shown on the display through methods such as an electrocardiogram waveform. The display not only shows to wearers their health status but also to the people around them. In addition, the sensors of the electronic skin will be able to link with smartphones to store the collected biometric data, which can also be uploaded to the cloud.
The researchers see the technology as a non-invasive away for monitoring the health of the elderly or home-bound patients, by both the people around them and healthcare officials who may monitor their status through the cloud.
The electronic skin is currently far more than just a concept. The University of Tokyo, in partnership with Japan-based Dai Nippon Printing, is hoping to start mass production of the patch over the next three years. The researchers are targeting improved reliability and better coverage for the final product of the electronic skin.
Electronic Skin For Amputees And Moving Virtual Objects
Earlier this month, there were reports on electronic skin that was developed by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder. The electronic skin, made out of thin and translucent material, copies some of the properties and functions of real human skin. As such, its planned application is to allow amputees to sense pressure and temperature on prosthetic limbs.
Last month, there was another kind of electronic skin reported, allowing users to manipulate virtual objects without the need for bulky gloves and other input devices.