PHOTO: A flexible, self-powered and wearable medical alert device

The armband is 30 cm long and 18 cm wide, and can be worn either directly on the skin or on top of clothing. Image: © 2015 Sakurai Lab. / Someya Lab.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a a flexible, self-powered wearable medical alert device.

The fever alarm armband, which also monitors heart rate, will be presented at the 2015 International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week.

The device developed by research groups lead by Professor Takayasu Sakurai at the Institute of Industrial Science and Professor Takao Someya at the Graduate School of Engineering combines a flexible silicon solar panel, piezoelectric speaker, temperature sensor and power supply circuit created with organic components in a single flexible, wearable package.

Constant monitoring of health indicators such as heart rate and body temperature is the focus of intense interest in the fields of infant, elderly and patient care.

The researchers developed a flexible solution incorporating organic components which can be printed by an inkjet printer on a thin film.

The fever alarm armband incorporates several firsts. It is the first organic circuit able to producepp sound and the first to incorporate an organic power supply circuit.

“Our fever alarm armband demonstrates that it is possible to produce flexible, disposable devices that can greatly enhance the amount of information available to carers in healthcare settings,” says Professor Someya.

“We have demonstrated the technology with a temperature sensor and fever alarm, but the system could also be adapted to provide audible feedback on body temperature, or combined with other sensors to register wetness, pressure or heart rate.”

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