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Researchers aim to turn wearables into mini hospitals

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A small team of researchers from Sentient Science and the University of Buffalo are developing wearables especially for soldiers and high stress-related occupations.

Stress-related health problems are a norm, and one of the main reasons people have to deal with them is because they don’t have an internal alert to tell them to ease off to prevent injuries.  Furthermore, stress often causes people to act irrationally, and that makes any job just that much tougher.

With the boom of wearable technology just over the horizon, a company called Sentient Science and researchers at the University of Buffalo are developing health monitoring gears that give people a chance to avoid health complications due to stress.

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The wearable gears which include wireless technology, sensors and electrodes all work in tandem to monitor and alert a person when their vital signs hit a critical barrier.  Electrodes and sensors monitor vital health signs such as heart rate and brain activity that are then deciphered using sophisticated algorithms that take into consideration things such as the terrain and weather. The data are transmitted to the person in real time, so the person will know exactly what they’re up against internally.

The idea behind it is extremely simple, but also very critical said Albert H. Titus, a professor and chair of University of Buffalo’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“Whether carrying 100 pounds of gear up a mountain or avoiding makeshift bombs, today’s soldiers face incredible physical and mental stress,” he said. “Our wearable aims to measure how the body reacts to those challenges and combine that information with algorithms designed to help keep soldiers as safe as possible.”

“It’s like a hospital when you have a bunch of wires and equipment monitoring a patient.  We’re taking that technology and compressing it into a lightweight, wireless system,” added Jennifer Haggerty, a researcher at Sentient Science.

While consumer-grade wearables such as smartwatches and smart glasses already available on the market, the true essence of this type of tech involves developing solutions that enable people and their tech to work harmoniously with each other.  We can even consider it a symbiotic relationship to an extent.  Current smartwatch and health band gears often have poor battery life, and are, more or less, extension of smartphones.

Source: phys.org

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