How your car can check your daily health

November 22, 2017 // By Chris Van Hoof, Tom Torfs, Imec
Imec researches capacitive, optical and radar technology to integrate in the user’s environment and in this way monitor – unnoticeable – his health.

Health freaks may wear a fitness tracker on their wrist, but there’s also something just as valuable coming soon for the non-freaks among us. By incorporating sensor and radar technology into car seats, armchairs and even office spaces, you’ll be able to discreetly monitor your breathing rate, heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) readings. In fact the automotive industry has already responded very enthusiastically to the technology, because it may well (indirectly) help prevent many accidents. But that’s not all: given that we are spending more and more time in the car, it only makes sense that it should become the ideal location for us to carry out our daily health checks.

Health trackers for each of us?

According to international research and survey bureau, IDC, more than 125 million wearables will be sold in 2017 – an increase of 20% over 2016. And by 2021, that number is likely to double. Most of the users of these devices are people who tend to be more aware than many others about their health. So, if someone is looking to change their habits – for example to do more exercise or lose weight – wearables can provide motivation, certainly for a certain period of time. But a significant proportion of the population does not really want wearables – in fact many of them, such as surgeons, firefighters, machine operators, aren’t allowed to wear them. So in some cases, it would be a definite plus if our health parameters could be measured and recorded without a wearable being required.

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