Wearable device from University of Arizona can transmit health data with minimal network infrastructure

Researchers from the University of Arizona have developed a wearable device said to be capable of transmitting health data “2,400 times the distance of Wi-Fi without significant network infrastructure”.

The need for network infrastructure can make wearable devices “inaccessible to rural and under-resourced communities”, but with this new device, health data can be transmitted up to 15 miles, which researchers hope will aid progress towards making digital health access more equitable.

The system developed by a team directed by Philipp Gutruf, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Craig M. Berge, faculty fellow in the College of Engineering, uses a low power wide area network to send data over long distances.

The device is custom 3D-printed to fit the user, and is worn on the lower forearm. It has a recharging function allowing its batteries to be charged over 2 meters of distance.

Philipp Gutruf said: “These internet-based communication protocols are effective and well-developed, but they require cell coverage or internet connectivity and main-line power sources. These requirements often leave individuals in remote or resource-constrained environments underserved.”

To learn more about this research, please click here.

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