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Wearable Sensors Can Provide Real Time Health Data

New optical sensors designed by scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) will allow both doctors and patients to view a person’s health in real time.

The sensors, which are 50 times thinner than a human hair, can be integrated into wearable technology such as watches, where they then monitor the trace amounts of gases called metabolites that come off a person’s skin.

The new devices can measure these gases in much smaller concentrations than ever before and are able to operate at room temperature unlike previous technologies, making them practical for everyday use.

The sensors could make it possible to identify illnesses such as diabetes sooner as well as simplify the process of monitoring a chronic illness throughout a patient’s life. Ultimately, this innovation could minimize the need for invasive procedures and blood tests.

“This exciting invention shows that we are on the cusp of designing the next generation of wearable devices that will help people to stay well for longer and lead better lives,” Dr Antonio Tricoli, leader of ANU’s Nanotechnology Research Laboratory, said in a press release.

Outside of medical diagnosis, the sensors can be used in fields such as space exploration, to identify life on other planets, and farming, to identify the ripeness of fruit and vegetables.

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