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Wireless Connection for Medical Implants

 - Jun 12, 2008
References: & technology.newscientist
We already have wireless internet at home and Wi-Fi outside the home. Why not a personal wireless connection for different medical implants like pacemakers in our bodies too? William Scanlon and Gareth Conway have recently filed a patent for a wireless antenna system. It is able to send signals along human skin to help all the devices work together.

The small, patch-like antenna is incredibly power efficient, much better than current technologies like Bluetooth which consumes a lot of battery power. Medical devices need long energy life spans. What makes these antennas different is the signals are made to travel sideways along the body instead of away from the body.

How the researchers at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland did this was by turning the design upside down, which then sends the signals along the skin as "creeping waves". These waves are the reason why both your ears hear a sound rather than only in the ear closest to the origin of the sound.