Nanotechnology is becoming a crucial driving force behind innovation in medicine and healthcare. The range of nanotechnical advances includes nanoscale therapeutics, biosensors, implantable devices, drug delivery systems, and imaging technologies. Apart from other diagnostic methods, nanotechnology has also found its way into fitness monitoring.
Fitness monitoring is usually associated with the plethora of smartphone apps and the bracelets and wristbands that are on the market. For these monitoring gadgets, nanomaterials are going to open new realms of possibility, especially graphene. Graphene is highly-conductive and ultra-flexible and hence can be crucial to wearable electronic applications. Possible applications could include:
- A patient can wear a printed graphene RFID tag on his or her arm in a hospital. Integrated with other 2D materials, the tag can sense the patient’s body temperature and heartbeat and sends them back to the reader. The medical staff can monitor the patient’s conditions wirelessly, in turn simplifying the patient’s care.
- Battery-free printed graphene sensors can be printed on elderly peoples’ clothes in a care home. These sensors could detect and collect elderly people’s health conditions and send them back to the monitoring access points when they are interrogated, enabling remote healthcare and improving quality of life.
These futuristic biofunction monitors can also find their application in temporary tattoos or electronic stickers:
- that both extracts and measures the level of glucose in the fluid in between skin cells.
- revolutionize clinical monitoring such as EKG and EEG testing.
- monitor stamina and fitness and warns when athletes are about to ‘hit the wall’.
- even stick to your teeth to monitor bacteria in your mouth.