August 31, 2011

'Electronic Tattoo' May Help Monitor Patients

A new device thin enough to be laminated onto the skin could track heart, brain and muscle functions without bulky electrodes. It could also have military applications.

They used the device, which is thinner than a human hair, to monitor the heart and brain, according to a study in the journal Science.

The sensor attaches to human skin just like a temporary tattoo and can move, wrinkle and stretch without breaking.

Researchers hope it could replace bulky equipment currently used in hospitals.

A mass of cables, wires, gel-coated sticky pads and monitors are currently needed to keep track of a patient's vital signs.

Scientists say this can be "distressing", such as when a patient with heart problems has to wear a bulky monitor for a month "in order to capture abnormal but rare cardiac events".

Solar cells

With the tattoo, all the electronic parts are built out of wavy, snake-like components, which mean they can cope with being stretched and squeezed.

There are also tiny solar cells which can generate power or get energy from electromagnetic radiation.

The device is small, less than 50 micrometres thick - less than the diameter of a human hair.

The sensor is mounted on to a water-soluble sheet of plastic, so is attached to the body by brushing with water, just like a temporary tattoo.

It sticks on due to weak forces of attraction between the skin and a polyester layer at the base of the sensor, which is the same force which sticks geckos to walls.

In the study, the tattoo was used to measure electrical activity in the leg, heart and brain. It found that the "measurements agree remarkably well" with those taken by traditional methods.

The sensor moves with the skin

Researchers believe the technology could be used to replace traditional wires and cables.

Smaller, less invasive, sensors could be especially useful for monitoring premature babies or for studying patients with sleep apnoea without them wearing wires through the night, researchers say.

Prof Todd Coleman, from the University of Illinois, said: "If we want to understand brain function in a natural environment, that's completely incompatible with studies in a laboratory.

"The best way to do this is to record neural signals in natural settings, with devices that are invisible to the user."

The device was worn for up to 24 hours without loss of function or skin irritation.

However, there are problems with longer-term use, as the skin constantly produces new cells, while those at the surface die and are brushed off, meaning a new sensor would need to be attached at least every fortnight.

'Electronic skin'

When the tattoo was attached to the throat, it was able to detect differences in words such as up, down, left, right, go and stop.

The researchers managed to use this to control a simple computer game.

John Rogers, professor in material science and engineering at the University of Illinois, said: "Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is invisible to the user.

"It's a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology."

Prof Zhenqiang Ma, an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Wisconsin, argued that the technology could overcome issues with bulky sensors.

"An electronic skin will help solve these problems and allow monitoring to be simpler, more reliable and uninterrupted.

"It has proved to be viable and low-cost in this demonstration which will greatly facilitate the practical clinical use of the electronic skin."

Source: WebMD

August 29, 2011

Are you looking for an FP7 partner?

As you may know the new FP7 calls have been published recently, so from Wellness Telecom we are analysing and evaluating possible collaboration under this programme.

Wellness Telecom is an SME that was born as a telecommunication company and assist it clients throughout the lifecycle of a telecommunication project with consulting, engineering, implementation, maintenance and optimisation. However, Wellness Telecom is sponsoring investment in Research, Development and innovation (R&D&i) to create or improve advanced, innovative products and services in four main lines ( Telecommunications, Smart and Sustainable City, Communication Platform, Healths and Well-being).

  • Objective ICT 2011.1.2 Cloud Computing, Internet of Services and Advanced Software Engineering
  • Objective ICT 2011.6.1 Smart energy grids
  • Objective ICT 2011.6.3 ICT for efficient water resources management.
  • Objective EEB-ICT- 2011.6.5 ICT for energy positive neighbourhoods
  • Objective ICT 2011 6.7 Mobility
  • Objective HEALTH.2012.3.2-3: Social innovation for active and healthy ageing
  • Objective ENERGY.2012.8.8.1: Strategic sustainable planning and screening of city plans 1.
  • Objective EEB.ENERGY.2012.8.8.3: Demonstration of nearly Zero Energy Building Renovation for cities and districts

The team of professionals of Wellness Telecom is qualified in Telecom management support for implementation of R&D&i. Wellness Telecom has the experience and ability to handle projects in multiple programs:

    • The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
    • And Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)
    • JTIs

We offer also different consultancy services from the Factory Innovation Department. When the plan of action has been defined, this service makes it possible to have access to different financing programmes that meet the needs of the individual customer and his ideas. The ideas become project proposals and their technical and administrative aspects are adapted to the requirements of each of the bids for financing selected. Should the proposals require the ideas to be presented jointly with other associates, Wellness Telecom is responsible for seeking partners who can form a coherent joint venture covering the whole idea value chain.

We are open to all type of collaboration where we can fit as potential partner in the areas we are experienced (telecommunication, collaborative platforms, smart cities, and eHealth).

Please if you need further information contact us

August 19, 2011

Amsterdam Smart City

“In 2009 Amsterdam City lunched a unique Initiative based on the collaboration between the inhabitants of Amsterdam, businesses and governments in order to illustrate how energy can be saved, now and in the future.

All the initiatives within this network have been and should be economically sustainable investments and their benefits are tested in local, small-scale projects, bringing public and private partners together.

The ultimate goal of these projects is the reduction of CO2 emissions on Amsterdam national and European scale

This text can be found in Amsterdam Smart City web.

We think Amsterdam has initiated among others cities, and regions in Europe a fantastic project to achieve European 2020 targets related with energy savings

In this line Wellness Telecom designs and builds Smart & Sustainable City technologies to add intelligence infrastructure, creating more efficient, livable and intelligent cities. It is worth a mention its WeLight and WeSave products with an open architecture and customizable, allows control and monitoring street lights and building energy consumption respectively.

Furthermore, eGARBAGE project, already mentioned in previous posts, provides an innovative new line of products to the Smart Sustainable City, offering an efficient way to manage urban waste Optimising collection routes, Detecting full containers and Monitoring treatment processes.