Special Feature: Healthcare and Electronics

Sensor Network Will Transform Healthcare as We Know It

metamorphosis No.15

With Two Technologies to Support the Future of Healthcare, New Doors Are Preparing to Open

To make it easy to measure biometric data such as body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, sensing technology that detects physical quantities is required. To allow the data to be collected and stored for future reference, rather than being discarded after a single use, networking technology that enables the easy transmission of information is necessary. Integrating these two technologies creates the potential for significant change in our daily life and environment. At Murata, we create the key technologies that will support the future of healthcare.

Sensing

3 application examples

ex.1

1 Photoplethysmographic (PPG) sensor + Wireless communication module

Small, light, and with no cords to get in the way, our photoplethysmographic sensors make it easy for joggers to keep track of heart rate and blood oxygen levels. These sensors will make your workouts more comfortable and productive.

ex.2

2 Vital sign sensor

A simple touch is all it takes to detect changes in blood hemoglobin concentration or minute voltage changes from heart activity. With their ability to measure pulse, blood oxygen and electrocardiographic (ECG) data to track “vital signs” such as changes in relative blood pressure, these devices will be a welcome addition to the self-care options of the elderly.

ex.3

3 Ultraviolet (UV) sensor

These sensors measure UV-A and UV-B, which can be damaging to your health and beauty.Accessories embedded with these UV intensity sensors can help women to make intelligent wardrobe choices for their outdoor activities.

24/7 Sensing -technology that delivers energy-efficient and reliable around-the-clock support

Sensing has become a vital tool in the gathering of biometric information. In the past, one-time measurements of body temperature or blood pressure during medical examinations were the norm, but we are now preparing to enter a new age of 24/7 monitoring. Contact or non-contact sensing terminals that can be worn at all times will make around-the-clock monitoring possible, and by continually keeping track of our biometric status, we can understand the changes that take place in our bodies from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, as well as during our sleep. In addition to healthcare, this technology is seen as having significant implications for medical treatment as a whole. At Murata, we are working hard to ensure that we have the energy-efficient and reliable 24/7 technologies required to turn this potential into reality.

The wearable option - achieved through innovations in downsizing and cost-effectiveness

Monitoring biometric information around the clock is not an easy matter. Unless we can keep monitoring devices on our bodies, there is no way to continually assess this data. What this requires is the development of “wearable” devices that are designed to be turned on at all times. Whether this is accomplished by integrating sensors into clothing or further downsizing devices which can be embedded in eyeglasses or wristwatches, wearable technology will be the key to 24/7 biometric monitoring. With our long years of contributing to device and module downsizing and cost-effectiveness, Murata will provide the technical base to support the future of wearable technology.

Network

Sensor network image

Murata networking technologies - our years of hard work are about to transform the field of healthcare

Simply using sensing technology to measure biometric data is not enough to allow us to manage our health. For us to reap the potential benefits of the information that has been gathered, we must be able to relay it to databases where it can be collected and stored for analysis, and this requires network technology. Devices downsized for wearable applications have a limited power storage capacity, and integrating them with a power-consuming communication function has been a particularly arduous task, but with the emergence of new power-saving short-range wireless and other technologies, we can now the light at the end of the tunnel. Network technology has long been an area of focus at Murata, and we are on the verge of seeing our efforts bear fruit in the field of healthcare.

Sharing biometric data through networks