Over the last few decades, scientists could achieve considerable progress in creating wearable sensors. Wearable sensors are newly developed inventions that can detect physiological and biochemical markers for health monitoring. Fiber optic solutions such as fiber optic sensors were no exception and made a great contribution to this technology.
What are wearable sensors?
Wearable sensors have an enormous potential for the early detection of many diseases including Covid-19 by measuring numerous vital signs such as blood oxygen level, respiratory rate, etc. According to the studies on Covid-19, the most common symptoms are shortness of breath, fever, and fatigue. Moreover, the blood oxygen level of an infected patient is lower because it is a respiratory disease. That’s why it was important to create a fiber optic technology capable of providing accurate data that would be useful for specialists and non-specialists alike people in quarantine or self-isolated.
Fiber optic sensors for medicine
Fiber optic sensors have attracted attention by development as flexible sensors. They usually consist of optical gratings and optical fibers embedded into polymeric matrices. For example, wearable systems based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) were developed for biomedical usage. Thanks to their small size, lightweight, and other advantages, they can be easily integrated into polymers or textiles.
FBGs were suggested as wearable sensors for respiratory measurement for the upper body like abdomen and chest movements. FBG output changes can show the respiratory rate and breathing pattern. Moreover, with the help of fiber optic sensors, specialists are able to receive information about cardiac activities. The suggested fiber optic system has high sensitivity and can respond to environmental factors, for instance, relative humidity, temperature, and water immersion. Researchers noticed that the temperature had more influence on them in comparison with water immersion and humidity. That means that this fiber optic system needs further investigation.
The new humidity sensors were also developed based on optical fibers. The humidity also influences the light intensity of the emitted light of optical fibers. This function was used for developing a fiber optic system to measure the level of the nasal exhaled breath for respiratory rate tracking. In this system, scientists have placed a Fiber Bragg grating in an agar substrate. This device with fiber optic sensors demonstrated reliable performance and nice sensitivity to relative humidity change.
Thanks to the newly designed wearable fiber optic sensors, it became possible to integrate the health data of each person and find the best option for him.
Optromix is a fast-growing vendor of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) product line such as fiber Bragg grating sensors, for example, FBG strain sensors, FBG interrogators and multiplexers, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) systems, Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) systems. The company creates and supplies a broad variety of fiber optic solutions for monitoring worldwide. If you are interested in structural health monitoring systems and want to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org