Researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have developed a smart wristband that uses a biosensor technology to monitor personal health conditions.
The plastic wearable device can count particles and is expected to help in tracking the blood cells. It can be wirelessly connected to a smartphone, allowing the remote transfer of data.
This technology can be leveraged for watches and other wearable devices designed to monitor heart rates and physical activity.
Study lead author Abbas Furniturewalla said: “Current wearables can measure only a handful of physical parameters such as heart rate and exercise activity.
“The ability for a wearable device to monitor the counts of different cells in our bloodstream would take personal health monitoring to the next level.”
The new wristband comprises a flexible circuit board and a biosensor with a channel, or pipe, embedded with gold electrodes.
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A circuit is included to process electrical signals, along with a micro-controller to digitise data and a Bluetooth module to wirelessly transmit the data.
The device obtains blood samples via pinpricks, and the blood is fed through the channel and associated cells are counted. Blood cell counts help in disease diagnosis, such as low red blood cell counts indicate internal bleeding.
Rutgers University School of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering department assistant professor Mehdi Javanmard said: “There’s a whole range of diseases where blood cell counts are very important.
“Abnormally high or low white blood cell counts are indicators of certain cancers like leukaemia, for example.”
The smart wristband is expected to help is conducting quick blood tests in the field, offices and hospitals, avoiding the requirement for lab-based equipment that is considered costly and bulky.