The making of the sensor, using silicone, water, microphone, and a mold.
Imperial College London researchers have invented a new health tracking sensor for pets and people that monitors vital signs through fur or clothing
Our stretchy, flexible invention heralds a whole new type of sensor that can track the health of animals and humans alike over fur or clothing.
Dr Firat Guder – Department of Bioengineering
The new type of sensor, which can detect vital signs like heart and breathing rates through fur and up to four layers of clothing, could help make everyday wearables for pets and livestock a reality.
They could help owners keep track of their pets’ health, and help vets monitor animals during surgery without the need for shaving.
They could even help improve the work of sniffer dogs used to detect bombs and missing persons.
In people, they could provide a new way to measure vital signs that can provide measurements over clothing without direct contact with the skin.
Lead author Dr Firat Guder, of Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering, said: “Wearables are expected to play a major role in monitoring health and detecting diseases early. Our stretchy, flexible invention heralds a whole new type of sensor that can track the health of animals and humans alike over fur or clothing.”
The research on this new class of sensors is published today in Advanced Functional Materials.
“Watery, squishy stethoscope”
The sensor works like a watery, squishy stethoscope, filling any gaps between it and its subject so no air bubbles are present to dampen the sound.
Yasin Cotur – Department of Bioengineering
Unlike in humans, for whom there are many fitness tracking devices, there aren’t currently many ‘wearable’ options for pets and other animals. The researchers suggest that one reason for this is that current trackers cannot monitor vital signs through fur.
The new Imperial-developed device is made of a silicone-water composite material which houses a microphone that picks up sound waves, like a watery, squishy stethoscope. It is flexible and stretchy enough that it tightly moulds to the shape of the fur, clothing, or body part it is placed on, squeezing out any sound-sucking air bubbles and preventing them from re-forming.
First author Yasin Cotur, also of Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering, said: “The sensor works like a watery, squishy stethoscope, filling any gaps between it and its subject so no air bubbles are present to dampen the sound.”
The sound is converted to a digital signal which is then transmitted to a nearby portable computer so that people can track an animal’s physiology in real-time.
When the researchers tested their device on five humans and one dog, they found that it works through up to four layers of clothes, and that the sensor works best when the clothing or fur sits right up against the skin.
Dogs with jobs
As well as health tracking, the researchers say the sensors could help turn findings from sniffer dogs into measurable data.
Sniffer dogs are trained to exhibit behaviours like sitting or barking when they detect a target object such as an explosive device or person stuck inside rubble following an earthquake.
When dogs ‘alert’ to target objects, such as bombs, their heart and breathing rates increase because they are excited to be rewarded for correctly identifying their target.
However, ‘alerting’ behaviour can be difficult to quantitatively measure.
The researchers say their new sensor could establish baselines of normal heart and breathing rates from which to quantify the level of excitement for each dog. This would be measured by how much their vital signs diverge from the norm.
By measuring how excited the dogs are, an inbuilt algorithm might even be able to tell the strength of the dog’s reaction to the smell it detects and work out how ‘sure’ the dog is of finding the desired object.
The sensors have been tested only on dogs and humans so far, but the researchers will next try to adapt them for use on other types of pets, as well as horses and livestock.
Yasin said: “The next step is to validate our system further with animals, primarily focusing on sniffer dogs and then horses and livestock later on.”
They are also integrating motion sensors to the system so they can track animals’ movements in real time. The software could use an artificial intelligent algorithm to indicate when pets are standing, sitting, or lying, as well as which direction they are facing and how their vital signs diverge from the norm. This could hook up to a smartphone app that will tell owners how, and where, their pets are in real time.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Health tracking sensor
- (2021) Image Sensor Market Growth Prospects, Key Vendors, Future Scenario Forecast By 2030
Our research specialists at Absolute Markets Insights have designed a magnificent report on the Image Sensor Market that explicates the variety of angles of market facilitation over the estimated ...
- CDOT Pledges To Track Air Quality As Part Of I-270 Rebuild, But Pollution-Choked Commerce City Residents Are Skeptical
A blue signal indicated the solar-powered air monitoring sensor was already connected. “It doesn’t take long,” said Pierce, a technical services program manager for the Air Pollution Control Division ...
- Fitbit Sense: Get a better Sense of your overall health
Fitbit is breaking new ground with its wearables, helping you better understand and manage your stress and heart health. For evidence, take a look at Fitbit Sense priced at Rs 22,999, its most ...
- Health Sensors Misconstrued as Government Tracking ‘Microchips’
A digital device company is developing gel sensors that would monitor the wearer's health and could potentially help to detect future outbreaks of disease. But conspiracy theorists are falsely ...
- Fitbit Charge 5: A premium fitness tracker with an AMOLED Display & ECG sensor
Following numerous leaks and speculations, Google-owned Fitbit has introduced its latest fitness tracker – the Fitbit Charge 5 in India. This new wearable is the company’s most advanced fitness ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Health tracking sensor
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Monitoring vital signs
- Team to monitor babies in the NICU with facial recognition tech
A team of researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) has created artificial intelligence (AI)-based facial recognition technology for monitoring premature babies in neonatal intensive ...
- Vital Signs Monitoring Market Share 2021 Top Manufacturers, Industry Size, Growth Factor, Future Trends, Challenges and Forecast to 2027
Aug 26, 2021 (The Expresswire) -- “Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry” Global “Vital Signs Monitoring Market” report 2021 describes a detailed analysis of ...
- Jasper Health and BioIntelliSense Form Strategic Collaboration to Transform Remote Monitoring for Oncology Care
Jasper Health, an emerging leader of digital engagement for people diagnosed with cancer, today announced it has formed a strategic collaboration with BioIntelliSense, a continuous health monitoring ...
- Vital Signs Monitoring Devices Market 2021 | Extended Growth forecast Till 2026
The Vital Signs Monitoring Devices Market Report a definite study of various parts of the Worldwide Market. It shows the consistent development in market regardless of the variances and changing ...
- Baby detector software embedded in digital camera rivals ECG for neonatal monitoring
University of South Australia researchers have designed a computer vision system that can automatically detect a tiny baby's face in a hospital bed and remotely monitor its vital signs from a digital ...