Future fitness trackers could soon add blood-oxygen levels to the list of vital signs measured with new technology developed by engineers at UC Berkeley
“There are various pulse oximeters already on the market that measure pulse rate and blood-oxygen saturation levels, but those devices use rigid conventional electronics, and they are usually fixed to the fingers or earlobe,” said Ana Arias, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and head of the UC Berkeley team that is developing a new organic optoelectronic sensor.
By switching from silicon to an organic, or carbon-based, design, the researchers were able to create a device that could ultimately be thin, cheap and flexible enough to be slapped on like a Band-Aid during that jog around the track or hike up the hill.
The engineers put the new prototype up against a conventional pulse oximeter and found that the pulse and oxygen readings were just as accurate.
The research team reported its findings today (Wednesday, Dec. 10) in the journal Nature Communications.
Giving silicon a run for its money
The Latest on: Organic electronics
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