Breathing sensors integrated into a stretchable printed-circuit board that in turn is fitted into a romper suit could help prevent sudden infant deaths, according to a report from the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) in Berlin. The suit could warn parents if their child stops breathing.
Researchers at the organization said they fitted the stretchable polyurethane PCB with two commercially available sensors and ironed the complete system into a romper suit to monitor breathing in the chest and stomach areas.
“The circuit board we have developed can be manufactured using routine industrial processes, meaning a high throughput and, consequently, good cost-efficiency,” said Manuel Seckel, scientist at the IZM, in a press release. “Furthermore, components can be positioned on it just as precisely as on a standard board thanks to the stability of the stretchable substrate during processing. This stands in contrast to textile-based electronics, where one can expect an offset of up to five millimeters over a half-meter area.”
Fraunhofer also reported that the stretchable circuit board is also the basis for a plaster being developed by medical scientists from the University of Heidelberg in collaboration with the Fraunhofer researchers.
As previously reported, IMS Research predicts a rapidly growing market for wearable technology in healthcare and medical applications as well as in fitness and wellness, industrial and military, and infotainment applications.
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