Devices like a mobile phone that gets charged when kept in the pocket are not a matter of imagination. Studies have shown that this will be possible if energy could be stored in clothes. The shift from wearable devices to those which does not need batteries is not far away.
The research in this field conducted by Keralite professor Dr Jayan Thomas at Creol College of Engineering in the US has attracted worldwide attention. He is engaged in developing devices that are self-sufficient in energy and can monitor the health condition of a person with the help of the clothes or watch he or she wears.
“Batteries are the biggest problem we face. Storing energy is a very costly affair. Space crunch is another challenge,” says Thomas.
“My aim is to make watches and clothes that store energy. Studies are going on regarding the methods to retain energy in thin copper ribbons and use it. Such fibres can form part of clothes or watch strap,” he explains.
The research by Thomas utilizes solar energy without the aid of batteries or grids. Meanwhile, when wearable devices are operated with wearable energy, the working of various organs of the body can be monitored.
Further research is examining how this idea can be implemented in the health sector. Like automobiles, man too can never avoid wearable devices. Watches and spectacles are commonly used by all people.
Researchers are checking the possibilities of inserting sensors in such devices which can read the health condition of the wearer. It is presumed that if symptoms of a disease can be detected early, complications at a hospital can be avoided. This development is expected to create a revolution in the health sector.
The health condition of each patient is different and they react in different ways to various drugs. If this research is successful, the exact disease of the patient can be identified and the correct treatment given. Intense studies are being carried out in this field, known as ‘Precision Medicine.’
In fact, such equipment is already on the verge of being manufactured. The device that can indicate the blood sugar level of a person from his sweat, for example. This negates the need to extract blood for the tests.