Close scrutiny of basic vital functions supports a patient's care and recovery, but hospital resources and existing technological solutions might not be adequate to the task. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and its partners are developing wearable sensors such as smart patches that are almost unnoticeable for the user, which keep track of the patient's basic vital functions without interruption, sending the information wirelessly to a monitoring system.
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a “wearable microgrid” that harvests and stores energy from the human body to power small electronics. It consists of three main parts: sweat-powered biofuel cells, motion-powered devices called triboelectric generators, and energy-storing supercapacitors. All parts are flexible, washable and can be screen printed onto clothing.
A year onwards, COVID-19 is still among us, and hitting us hard. Restrictions to battle the disease are in place worldwide as we try to keep our healthcare systems up and running. As a result of this current pandemic, people are expected to keep a safe distance from each other. No more hugs from friends and family, no more slaps on the shoulder from colleagues. But when people are not allowed to get close physically, feelings of loneliness and insecurity can arise. With International Hugging Day on 21 January 2021, we need an alternative, and that is just what TNO at Holst Centre has made possible.