BPN789: Reconfigurable, Wearable Sensors to Enable Long-Duration Circadian Biomedical Studies


The last 10 years have seen the emergence of wearable personal health tracking devices as a mainstream industry; however, they remain limited by battery lifetime, specific sensor selection, and a market motivated by a focus on short- term fitness metrics (e.g., steps/day). This hampers the development of a potentially much broader application area based on optimization around biomedical theory for long- term diagnostic discovery. As new biometric sensors come online, the ideal platform enabling the gathering of long-term diagnostic data would have the built-in extensibility to allow testing of different sensor combinations in different research settings to discover what kinds of data can be most useful for specific biomedical applications. Here we present the first generation of a reconfigurable wrist-mounted sensor device measuring 7x4x2cm and weighing 51g with battery (29g without). In its current configuration, it has recorded skin temperature, acceleration, and light exposure; these three variables allow prediction of internal circadian rhythms, as an example of the application of biological theory to enhance pattern detection. This generation is capable of operating long-term with minimal day-to-day disruption via easily exchangeable batteries, and has enough space for several months of data sampling to gather long-term diagnostic metrics. Future developments will include the addition of energy scavenging and a wireless mesh network for ambient data collection, the combination of which will allow uninterrupted data to be gathered without depending on the user.

Project end date: 01/26/16

David C. Burnett
Publication date: 
January 25, 2016
Publication type: 
BSAC Project Materials (Final/Archive)
PREPUBLICATION DATA - ©University of California 2016

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