Bio-patches can be used to monitor a number of physiological parameters ranging from simple on-skin temperature measurements to more sophisticated electrocardiogram (ECG) type measurements. The same sensor solutions have been used to ascertain biological changes associated with an individual’s state of mind. The modulation of the physiological state is achieved by the sympathetic and parasympathetic
subdivisions of the autonomic nervous system. Increased sympathetic nervous system activity leads to increased heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and a redirection of blood from the intestinal section of the body toward skeletal muscles, lungs, heart and brain. Physical sensors derive a measurable parameter due to a physical displacement or a change in the physical characteristics of the sensor. Here is what TI claims the Bio patch can do: With support for piezoelectric sensors, photoelectric sensor and thermal sensors. Chemical sensors.
Bio-patch solutions are poised to revolutionize the health and fitness market and create new ways of providing healthcare both in clinical and remote settings. The wearable sensor enables patient safety and comfort in clinical settings and provides for long term diagnostic monitoring while the individual participates in daily activities. For the athlete, the bio-patch provides an alternative to bands that suffer from noise artifacts such as motion and light. Given the unobtrusive and small form factor requirements of the bio-patch, optimizing power efficiency becomes highly critical in order to extend the lifetime and effectiveness of the application. Bio-patch solutions are sensors worn on the body that enable continuous, as well as semi-continuous, monitoring of physiological and cognitive parameters without tethering the patient or athlete to a wired hub. Regulation of physiological states can occur both from physical conditions or from cognitive functions associated with an individual’s state of mind. Electro-dermal activity is a sensitive index of the nervous system activity. Nerve endings modulate physiological activity which may result, for example, in the stimulation of sweat glands. This stimulation leads to changes in skin conductivity which can be monitored via a physical sensor. The ability to monitor both the physiological and cognitive functions for an extended period of time outside of a clinical setting enables innovative health management solutions. The bio-patch sensor data is transmitted wirelessly to the gateway which provides for self-monitoring or remote monitoring by a healthcare professional. The disposable nature of the solution also helps meet patient safety requirements in hospital settings due to the one-time use of the bio-patch, which aids in preventing exposure to hospital infections associated with reuse of medical equipment. The bio-patch form factor also enables more direct skin contact compared to other reusable wearable solutions providing for more accurate data collection. The bio-patch can also be placed in locations on the body that minimize noise artifacts associated with motion. The unobtrusive and small form factor requirements of the bio patch solution drive a need for ultra-low power design considerations. Expected battery lifetimes range from several hours in clinical settings and up to 14 days in telehealth or health and fitness applications where data is continuously collected and transmitted periodically. Those battery lifetimes can only be achieved by optimizing the energy efficiency of the entire system. A systems view of the bio-patch includes: • RF interface • Embedded processing requirements • Sensor data collection and storing • Signal conditioning We explore each of these system components and review methodologies for optimizing performance from a holistic view of the bio-patch taking into account a number of use conditions inside the medical and health and fitness spaces.