An increasing number of people are keenly interested in healthcare. Many people want to know, for example, how to keep from developing metabolic syndrome. Murata offers a range of components that can be used to promote healthcare, such as sensors, capacitors, and wireless communication modules. Combining these components, it will be possible to serve the healthcare industry even better. To show this, Murata developed a ring pulse meter that combines a photoplethysmographic (PPG) sensor, a wireless communication module, and a small rechargeable battery module, for demonstration at CEATEC JAPAN 2010.
The PPG sensor in the ring pulse meter exploits the optical absorption characteristic of hemoglobin in the blood. The integrated light-emitting element irradiates blood vessels in the finger with infrared rays, and the light-receiving element registers the reflection. Changes in the light intensity are used to calculate the pulse rate and other parameters (this technology is also used in the vital sign sensor presented on page 21) . A wireless communication module conforming to Bluetooth® low energy specifications (see page 28) is used to transmit the pulse data obtained by the PPG sensor to a PC. The demonstration allowed visitors from healthcare equipment manufacturers to understand that the measured data could be used during fitness exercise and sport training.
A high-speed recharging circuit and a small lithium-ion rechargeable battery module are integrated as the power source for sensors and wireless communication modules. The rechargeable concept eliminates the need for battery replacement. Murata technology makes it possible to include all functions of the pulse rate measuring terminal in the very small space available in a ring. Like the "Murata Boy" bicycle robot, the ring pulse meter was developed as a sales promotion tool to allow customers to directly experience the outstanding functions of Murata components. Murata will use these tools in their proposals to customers and in helping them plan and develop new products.
Components of the ring pulse meter
Demonstration of the ring pulse meter at CEATEC JAPAN 2010
Titled "Healthcare and Electronics," the attraction showed that the small device could be used to see if the wearer is doing aerobically effective exercise.
The Bluetooth trademark is owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., USA.