What Are the Challenges Unique to Healthcare?
What Can We Do NOW?
Let us examine vital sign sensors in the aforementioned boundary more precisely. Photoplethysmographic (PPG) sensors (electrooptic pulseoxymeters) detect physical amounts of infrared attenuation in blood hemoglobin, and electrocardiographic (ECG) sensors detect minute voltage generated by the heart muscle. This is the upstream section of data processing. As we travel downstream, these physical data are converted to a format that is easy to process electronically and transmit wirelessly, then further converted to communicate information such as pulse, relative variation in blood pressure, stress and fitness levels to the end user. In the medical field, these data may be optimized to provide diagnostic information or work in concert with treatment equipment. The development of such interfaces, however, requires cooperation from customers and outside research institutes, which takes time. Therefore, we are starting with the handling of more straightforward end-user information such as measurement of fatigue levels. There are many other potential applications for this type of information, including UV sensors to warn against sunburn and CO2 sensors to ensure safe ventilation. We need to clarify to customers “what can be realized” and propose application examples in addition to showing basic features of products.