Navigation Links
Innovative antennae may signal a 'new wave' in health care provision

Compact, wireless and power efficient body sensors that allow doctors to monitor illnesses and injuries remotely are a step closer thanks to new research.

The use of biosensors attached to the body for health monitoring is not new. However, antennas that enable such devices to be linked together efficiently on a patients body without wires are currently too uncomfortable to wear for a long time because they need to be large in order to maximise the strength of the signal being received. They can be reduced in size but this leads to the antenna being less efficient, meaning that the battery powering the device has to be recharged more frequently.

Experts in antennas and bioelectromagnetics at Queens University Belfast (QUB), with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), have developed new types of antenna that get round these limitations.

Their work could revolutionise the way patient care is provided, making unnecessary visits for tests and check-ups a thing of the past. Instead, biosensors could gather data on heart rate, respiration, posture, gait etc, transmitting this information by radio signal to a control unit also on the patients body. The data could then be accessed by doctors via the internet or mobile phone, for example.

The new types of antenna are the first in the world to deliberately harness the so-called creeping wave effect. With a conventional on-body antenna the majority of the signal is transmitted either away from the patient or inwards, where it is absorbed by the patients body which weakens the signal. The rest of the signal, though, hugs the skins surface and creeps round the body where it is picked up by the control unit.

However, only a small amount of the signal behaves in this creeping way and so its overall strength has to be increased to allow enough of it to reach the control unit. Although traditional antenna designs can be used, they are physically large and typically protrude up to 4cm from the body surface for the frequency bands used by systems such as WiFi. Reducing the size leads to poor system efficiency.

The new antennas developed at QUB solve these problems. They are specifically designed to accentuate the creeping wave effect by maximising the amount of signal radiated out to the antennas side, rather than inwards and outwards. They are up to 50 times more efficient than previously available designs of the same dimensions. Due to the lower power requirement resulting from this step change in on-body performance and efficiency, the QUB team has succeeded in reducing antenna thickness from 34mm to less than 5mm thick for their new patch antenna, for example.

The antennas can therefore be fitted almost anywhere on the patient without causing significant inconvenience and are sufficiently low-profile to be incorporated into clothing or worn as part of a wound dressing. One QUB design is now the subject of a patent application, with more anticipated.

The unique design of the new antennas could unlock the full potential of emerging wireless body area network (WBAN) technology. A WBAN is a network of biosensors attached to different parts of a patients body. Patients wearing a WBAN could carry on with their normal lives the doctor remotely monitoring the data gathered by the network would simply contact them to arrange appointments when needed.

The UK leads the world in the development of wearable communications including WBAN antennas, says Dr William Scanlon, who is leading the QUB project. With EPSRC funding, our group at QUB, along with other related projects at the University of Birmingham, Queen Mary College and elsewhere, could help unleash the full potential of WBAN technology. We could change the way that a range of illnesses, injuries and conditions are monitored, perhaps within five years.


Contact: Natasha Richardson
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Related medicine news :

1. Beautiful Teeth Not Just for the Dentists Office Anymore / SpaBrite Teeth Whitening System(TM) Introduces Innovative, New Teeth Whitening Experience To Spas
2. Two Michigan Orthopedic Surgeons Pioneer Innovative ACL Surgery with New Benefits for Athletes, Weekend Warriors
3. In blood vessel stents, innovative materials allow better control, delivery of gene therapy
4. Innovative Diagnostic Instrument Introduced by Abbott for Low- to Mid-Volume Laboratory Market Segment
5. Bank of America Launches Innovative Approach to Managing Health Care
6. CardWorks Named Servicer of Choice for Innovative Credit Card for Healthcare Services
7. London Luxury LLC Announces Exclusive Partnership with Cupron, Inc., to Develop Innovative Copper-Infused Bed and Bath Products
8. PAHEF Discusses Neglected Diseases and Disaster Preparedness with Innovative Leaders
9. Kinetix Creates Innovative Online Model to Engage and Educate Healthcare Professionals
10. Ilitch Charities Invests $50,000 in Innovative Community Programs
11. Home Guardian Releases Innovative Sensor System to Keep Seniors Safe
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone ... physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If ... at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development ... patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical ... 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the ... quarter of 2016, and to report top line ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- , , , WHEN: , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free ... EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President ... Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced ... launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first ... of possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: