With it's rapidly aging population, few countries stand to gain as much from developments in the remote monitoring of bio-signals as Japan. As a culture that reveres the elderly it's likely that the Japanese will be one of the countries leading the charge in the growing field of bio-signal telemetry. Just one example is the HRS-I, or the human recorder system, that gathers health-related information and transmits it wirelessly to a mobile phone or PC.
The HRS-I collects information through a small sensor attached to the chest, which measures electrocardiograph signals, body surface temperature, as well as human movements via a triple-axis sensor. The device can detect stress levels and heartbeat fluctuations as well. The information it gathers can then transmitted wirelessly to a mobile phone or PC so it can in turn be forwarded to health professionals or family members in a remote location.
Running on a CR2032 battery the HRS-I can last for as long as three or four days. With dimensions of 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.2 inches (30 x 30 x 5mm) it can be attached comfortably to the body and should be particularly useful for monitoring the health of elderly people who might live in remote areas.
Created by Marubeni Information Systems Co Ltd, the sensor costs 30,000 yen (approx. US$332 at time of publication) to buy, and the software can be rented for 10,000 yen ((approx. US$111) per month. Currently it is not available outside Japan, but expect to see more advancements like this in bio-signal telemetry to address the graying of populations around the world.