A team of Tokyo University researchers have recently presented a flexible cuff-thermometer. Self-powered by a solar panel, it sounds an alarm when the patient”s temperature becomes too high. Made from organic components using an inkjet printer, this cheap and disposable product is intended for use in a hospital setting.
The development of sensors to monitor vital human body functions is growing, whether it is smart textiles for sports or medical devices. For example, take the case of this stamp sized sticker that avoids taking daily glucose tests. The purpose of these innovations is to design devices that are less invasive, energy efficient and inexpensive to produce.
It is in this context that a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo has developed a flexible cuff thermometer powered by a solar panel. Used on the skin or clothes, it beeps when the body temperature of the user exceeds a preset threshold.
This cuff combines a flexible solar panel consisting of Silicon solar cells, a piezoelectric speaker, a temperature sensor and a power circuit.
The researchers say this is the first time such a device has been made that works solar power. This device has been configured to emit a sound: again, this would be the first of its kind. Flexible and self-powered, this armband could be manufactured at a low cost. It is perfectly appropriate for use in the hygienic environment of hospitals.
Moreover, designers say that this system could be combined with the detection of other vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure or the perspiration. The concept has been presented at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (IEEE) held this week in San Francisco (United States). There are currently no commercial products for this device.