Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

High-Tech Medic

An array of acoustic sensors that can be worn around the neck to pick up breathing patterns and heartbeat rates could help monitor soldiers’ physiological condition on the battlefield. The prototype sensors, under development at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, consist of microphones embedded in gel-filled pads. The gel, whose density and sound speed match those of human tissue, optimizes the conduction of sound from within the skin to the sensor. It also blocks out ambient noise (likely to be very loud on a battlefield). By listening to the sound of blood flow and respiration, the sensor monitors heart and breath rates, blood pressure, coughing, vomiting and other symptoms of distress. The sensors would transmit their readings to a remote receiver via a wireless communications device. The sensors can also be worn on the wrist or a headband (photo), making them less cumbersome than vests that are also under development for similar monitoring applications. The sensors remain several years from battlefield readiness.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me