A few months back Kyocera announced the development of one of the smallest known optical blood-flow sensors, designed to measure the volume of blood flow in subcutaneous tissue through contact with the ear, finger or forehead. The sensor is an integrated module with a laser diode and photodiode included in a single package, and uses the laser doppler method to measure blood-flow volume beneath the skin. With the sensor, Kyocera is researching a variety of mobile health (mHealth) applications such as monitoring stress levels or preventing dehydration, heat stroke and altitude sickness by studying trends or changes in blood-flow volume and developing algorithms for detection. The technology has strong potential for the mobile health (mHealth) industry and for health-conscious consumers.
The first prototype device from Kyocera to use the blood-flow sensor is a set of earphones. PCMag tested these earphones at the HealthCare IT 2017 trade show in April, and wrote about them in a recent article. While the potential applications mentioned in the article are still being researched, the article concludes that the future of wearable fitness trackers may be inside the ear or other small areas of the body, rather than on the wrist as is common today. Kyocera’s pioneering work is helping to drive that new reality.
Along with its mobile-phone business, Kyocera provides a wide range of components for smartphones and wearables and has been focused on developing and experimenting with thinner, smaller components that support high functionality in compact devices. With the global mHealth market rapidly expanding, the company is utilizing its expertise in components to address a wide range of healthcare applications. The optical blood-flow sensor used in the prototype earphones, which will become available soon from Kyocera, is only 1mm high, 1.6mm long and 3.2mm wide, and is highly reliable, which makes it ideal for use in wearable devices, mobile phones and medical equipment.
For more information on Kyocera’s optical blood-flow sensor, read the related press release on our web site.
John is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles. When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams.