Vibration matters, or rather, matter vibrates. You don’t have to look to metaphysics, new age personal transformationalists, or even the Beach Boys to hear and learn about vibrations. Albert Einstein made the definitive statement, “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”
How vibration matters in Health Tech relates to sensors. If there are discernible waves in everything, discovering and designing technology to accurately track the vibrations can solve problems including tightness, touch, interference from clothing, body hair, sweat, and other impediments to readings based on touch and proprioception. In other words, if you don’t have to physically touch the body, or possibly even be very close to the surface, problems with comfort, sensitivity, and privacy can be minimized.
Researchers at Lohas Tech have invented BioRF Artery Radar, a wearable-friendly, flexible and soft biosensor that detects artery pulse waves. In various applications when positioned near different parts of the body, BioRF can report artery pulse without pressure against the skin. Tracking pulse wave velocity (PWV) and blood pressure (BP) with BioRF is the next generation in health tech wearables, according to Lohas Tech.
An application cited by Lohas Tech with BioRF in a watch targets radial artery waves rather than capillaries, which avoids measurement disruption by body hair, skin tone, and vascular hypoperfusion. With two BioRF sensors, Lohas Tech claims the ability to synchronize brachial and ankle artery pulse wave for baPWV detection. The company used a watch-shaped system attached to a shirt to capture ECG and subclavian artery pulse waves at the same time, which also measures respiration rate. Lohas Tech has also used BioRF for continuous non-invasive blood pressure tracking and reports performance comparable to a standard Omron device.
Advances in sensor technology will continue to drive Health Tech. BioRF, if it proves accurate, reliable, and can be manufactured relatively inexpensively, could be a significant advance. Good vibrations matter, indeed.