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Human Arm Transmits Broadband

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electrodes attached to human arm

The film-like electrodes taped to this person's arm transmit electromagnetic waves through their skin.

Credit: Korea University

Korea University researchers have developed a method for transmitting data at a rate of 10 megabits per second through a person's arm, between two electrodes on their skin placed 30 centimeters apart. The electrodes use significantly less energy than a wireless link because low-frequency electromagnetic waves pass through skin with little attenuation.

The researchers say the technology has major benefits for the health care industry, including monitoring vital signs such as blood sugar levels or the heart's electrical activity. "If we use wireless for each of these vital signs we would need many batteries," says Korea University's Sang-Hoon Lee. A network transmitting through the skin could cut energy needs by about 90 percent, Lee says.

The electrodes are coated with a flexible silicon-rich polymer and are 300 micrometers thick. Future versions of the device could be embedded beneath the skin for long-term monitoring applications.

From New Scientist
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