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Vital functions monitored with wearable and implantable devices
Date:5/10/2010

e implantable measurement device, researchers from Tampere University of Technology have developed an instrument that measures vital functions, such as EKG, directly from the skin surface. Riistama sees untapped market potential for such a simple, ultra-light device that can be mass-produced for a couple of cents apiece.

The measurement strips are affordable and they can be developed into disposable variants to be used in a hospital environment. The signals transmitted by the strip are comparable to those produced by existing measurement devices, such as pulse counters. The signal is received wirelessly, which eliminates the need for bothersome cables.

The surface measurement device created by Professor Jukka Lekkala is further developed at TUT to increase the fault-tolerance of signal reception. Once the application is completed, it will have the potential to penetrate the global market. The device will enable minimally invasive, continuous measurements. It could be used, for example, to measure employee well-being in the workplace and to analyze athletic performance by integrating a receiving antenna into an athlete's shirt.

The main advantages of the device over currently available pulse counters are that the sensors are hygienic and considerably more convenient to use, says Riistama.

Electrodes are key to measuring vital functions

Measuring the current distribution created by vital functions is based on creating a galvanic contact between the object and the electrode of the measurement device. Measurements may be conducted on human and animal subjects as well as cells. Heart functions, for example, are monitored by an EKG. Electrodes are usually made of some highly conductive metal, but they can also be made of other conductive materials, such as doped silicon.

Several factors may interfere with the measurement of vital functions, for example, the contact between electrode and ob
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Contact: Jarno Riistama
jarno.riistama@tut.fi
358-408-490-946
Tampere University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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