SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Wireless

202

Google Glass is a recently designed wearable device capable of displaying information in a smartphone-like hands-free format by wireless communication. The Glass also provides convenient control over remote devices, primarily enabled by voice recognition commands. These unique features of the Google Glass make it useful for medical and biomedical applications where hands-free experiences are strongly preferred. Here, we report for the first time, an integral set of hardware, firmware, software, and Glassware that enabled wireless transmission of sensor data onto the Google Glass for on-demand data visualization and real-time analysis. Additionally, the platform allowed the user to control outputs entered through the Glass, therefore achieving bi-directional Glass-device interfacing. Using this versatile platform, we demonstrated its capability in monitoring physical and physiological parameters such as temperature, pH, and morphology of liver- and heart-on-chips. Furthermore, we showed the capability to remotely introduce pharmaceutical compounds into a microfluidic human primary liver bioreactor at desired time points while monitoring their effects through the Glass. We believe that such an innovative platform, along with its concept, has set up a premise in wearable monitoring and controlling technology for a wide variety of applications in biomedicine.

Concepts: Device, Control, Bluetooth, Remote control, Wireless, Keyboard, Wireless energy transfer

179

Medical devices increasingly depend on computing functions such as wireless communication and Internet connectivity for software-based control of therapies and network-based transmission of patients' stored medical information. These computing capabilities introduce security and privacy risks, yet little is known about the prevalence of such risks within the clinical setting.

Concepts: Medicine, Internet, Security, Surveillance, Wireless network, Privacy, Wireless, Keyboard

85

This communication describes a glove capable of wirelessly translating the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet into text displayable on a computer or smartphone. The key components of the device are strain sensors comprising a piezoresistive composite of carbon particles embedded in a fluoroelastomer. These sensors are integrated with a wearable electronic module consisting of digitizers, a microcontroller, and a Bluetooth radio. Finite-element analysis predicts a peak strain on the sensors of 5% when the knuckles are fully bent. Fatigue studies suggest that the sensors successfully detect the articulation of the knuckles even when bent to their maximal degree 1,000 times. In concert with an accelerometer and pressure sensors, the glove is able to translate all 26 letters of the ASL alphabet. Lastly, data taken from the glove are used to control a virtual hand; this application suggests new ways in which stretchable and wearable electronics can enable humans to interface with virtual environments. Critically, this system was constructed of components costing less than $100 and did not require chemical synthesis or access to a cleanroom. It can thus be used as a test bed for materials scientists to evaluate the performance of new materials and flexible and stretchable hybrid electronics.

Concepts: Phoneme, Language, Sign language, British Sign Language, Wireless, American Sign Language, SignWriting

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In this paper, we report on a novel sensor for the contactless monitoring of the respiration rate, made from multi-material fibers arranged in the form of spiral antenna (2.45 GHz central frequency). High flexibility of the used composite metal-glass-polymer fibers permits their integration into a cotton t-shirt without compromising comfort or restricting movement of the user. At the same time, change of the antenna geometry, due to the chest expansion and the displacement of the air volume in the lungs, is found to cause a significant shift of the antenna operational frequency, thus allowing respiration detection. In contrast with many current solutions, respiration is detected without attachment of the electrodes of any kind to the user’s body, neither direct contact of the fiber with the skin is required. Respiration patterns for two male volunteers were recorded with the help of a sensor prototype integrated into standard cotton t-shirt in sitting, standing, and lying scenarios. The typical measured frequency shift for the deep and shallow breathing was found to be in the range 120-200 MHz and 10-15 MHz, respectively. The same spiral fiber antenna is also shown to be suitable for short-range wireless communication, thus allowing respiration data transmission, for example, via the Bluetooth protocol, to mobile handheld devices.

Concepts: Electromagnetic radiation, Frequency, Hertz, Mobile device, Bluetooth, Clothing, Wireless, Heinrich Hertz

38

Previous studies have shown a consistent association between long-term use of mobile and cordless phones and glioma and acoustic neuroma, but not for meningioma. When used these phones emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) and the brain is the main target organ for the handheld phone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified in May, 2011 RF-EMF as a group 2B, i.e. a ‘possible’ human carcinogen. The aim of this study was to further explore the relationship between especially long-term (>10 years) use of wireless phones and the development of malignant brain tumours. We conducted a new case-control study of brain tumour cases of both genders aged 18-75 years and diagnosed during 2007-2009. One population-based control matched on gender and age (within 5 years) was used to each case. Here, we report on malignant cases including all available controls. Exposures on e.g. use of mobile phones and cordless phones were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was performed, adjusting for age, gender, year of diagnosis and socio-economic index using the whole control sample. Of the cases with a malignant brain tumour, 87% (n=593) participated, and 85% (n=1,368) of controls in the whole study answered the questionnaire. The odds ratio (OR) for mobile phone use of the analogue type was 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04‑3.3, increasing with >25 years of latency (time since first exposure) to an OR=3.3, 95% CI=1.6-6.9. Digital 2G mobile phone use rendered an OR=1.6, 95% CI=0.996-2.7, increasing with latency >15-20 years to an OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.2-3.6. The results for cordless phone use were OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.1-2.9, and, for latency of 15-20 years, the OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.2-3.8. Few participants had used a cordless phone for >20-25 years. Digital type of wireless phones (2G and 3G mobile phones, cordless phones) gave increased risk with latency >1-5 years, then a lower risk in the following latency groups, but again increasing risk with latency >15-20 years. Ipsilateral use resulted in a higher risk than contralateral mobile and cordless phone use. Higher ORs were calculated for tumours in the temporal and overlapping lobes. Using the meningioma cases in the same study as reference entity gave somewhat higher ORs indicating that the results were unlikely to be explained by recall or observational bias. This study confirmed previous results of an association between mobile and cordless phone use and malignant brain tumours. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that RF-EMFs play a role both in the initiation and promotion stages of carcinogenesis.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Brain tumor, Mobile phone, Telephone, Cordless telephone, Wireless, GSM

28

The study aims to provide an ease-of-use approach for senior patients to utilize remote healthcare systems. An ease-of-use remote healthcare system (RHS) architecture using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and networking technologies is developed. Specifically, the codes in RFID tags are used for authenticating the patients' ID to secure and ease the login process. The patient needs only to take one action, i.e. placing a RFID tag onto the reader, to automatically login and start the RHS and then acquire automatic medical services. An ease-of-use emergency monitoring and reporting mechanism is developed as well to monitor and protect the safety of the senior patients who have to be left alone at home. By just pressing a single button, the RHS can automatically report the patient’s emergency information to the clinic side so that the responsible medical personnel can take proper urgent actions for the patient. Besides, Web services technology is used to build the Internet communication scheme of the RHS so that the interoperability and data transmission security between the home server and the clinical server can be enhanced. A prototype RHS is constructed to validate the effectiveness of our designs. Testing results show that the proposed RHS architecture possesses the characteristics of ease to use, simplicity to operate, promptness in login, and no need to preserve identity information. The proposed RHS architecture can effectively increase the willingness of senior patients who act slowly or are unfamiliar with computer operations to use the RHS. The research results can be used as an add-on for developing future remote healthcare systems.

Concepts: Health care provider, Medicine, Patient, Illness, RFID, Wireless, Radio-frequency identification, Electronic Product Code

27

PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to compare the benefits of three types of remote microphone hearing assistance technology (HAT), Adaptive Digital broadband, Adaptive Frequency Modulation (FM), and Fixed FM, through objective and subjective measures of speech recognition in clinical and real-world settings. METHODS Participants included 11 adults, ages 16 to 78 years, with primarily moderate-to-severe bilateral hearing impairment (HI) who wore binaural behind-the-ear hearing aids and 15 adults, ages 18 to 30 years, with normal hearing (NH). Sentence recognition in quiet and in noise and subjective ratings were obtained in three conditions of wireless signal processing. RESULTS Performance by the listeners with HI when using the Adaptive Digital technology was significantly better than that obtained with the FM technology, with the greatest benefits at the highest noise levels. The majority of listeners also preferred the digital technology when listening in a real-world noisy environment. The wireless technology allowed persons with HI to surpass persons with NH in speech recognition in noise with the greatest benefit occurring with Adaptive Digital technology. CONCLUSIONS The use of Adaptive Digital technology combined with speechreading cues would allow persons with HI to engage in communication in environments that would have otherwise not been possible with traditional wireless technology.

Concepts: Sound, Audiogram, Radio, Remote control, Wireless, Analog signal, Amateur radio, History of radio

27

Airborne ultrasonic ranging is used in a variety of different engineering applications for which other positional metrology techniques cannot be used, for example in closed-cell locations, when optical line of sight is limited, and when multipath effects preclude electromagnetic-based wireless systems. Although subject to fundamental physical limitations, e.g., because of the temperature dependence of acoustic velocity in air, these acoustic techniques often provide a cost-effective solution for applications in mobile robotics, structural inspection, and biomedical imaging. In this article, the different techniques and limitations of a range of airborne ultrasonic ranging approaches are reviewed, with an emphasis on the accuracy and repeatability of the measurements. Simple timedomain approaches are compared with their frequency-domain equivalents, and the use of hybrid models and biologically inspired approaches are discussed.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Psychometrics, Test method, Units of measurement, Time-of-flight, Debut albums, Wireless

25

With the increasingly dominant role of smartphones in our lives, mobile health care systems integrating advanced point-of-care technologies to manage chronic diseases are gaining attention. Using a multidisciplinary design principle coupling electrical engineering, software development, and synthetic biology, we have engineered a technological infrastructure enabling the smartphone-assisted semiautomatic treatment of diabetes in mice. A custom-designed home server SmartController was programmed to process wireless signals, enabling a smartphone to regulate hormone production by optically engineered cells implanted in diabetic mice via a far-red light (FRL)-responsive optogenetic interface. To develop this wireless controller network, we designed and implanted hydrogel capsules carrying both engineered cells and wirelessly powered FRL LEDs (light-emitting diodes). In vivo production of a short variant of human glucagon-like peptide 1 (shGLP-1) or mouse insulin by the engineered cells in the hydrogel could be remotely controlled by smartphone programs or a custom-engineered Bluetooth-active glucometer in a semiautomatic, glucose-dependent manner. By combining electronic device-generated digital signals with optogenetically engineered cells, this study provides a step toward translating cell-based therapies into the clinic.

Concepts: Medicine, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Glucose, Hormone, Engineering, Light-emitting diode, Wireless