Recent advances in miniaturized electronics, as well as mobile access to computational power, are fostering a rapid growth of wearable technologies. In particular, the application of such wearable technologies to health care enables to access more information from the patient than standard episodically testing conducted in health provider centres. Clinical, behavioural and self-monitored data collected by wearable devices provide a means for improving the early-stage detection and management of diseases as well as reducing the overall costs over more invasive standard diagnostics approaches. In this chapter, we will discuss some of the ongoing key innovations in materials science and micro/nano-fabrication technologies that are setting the basis for future personalized and preventive medicine devices and approaches. The design of wire- and power-less ultra-thin sensors fabricated on wearable biocompatible materials that can be placed in direct contact with the body tissues such as the skin will be reviewed, focusing on emerging solutions and bottlenecks. The application of nanotechnology for the fabrication of sophisticated miniaturized sensors will be presented. Exemplary sensor designs for the non-invasive measurement of ultra-low concentrations of important biomarkers will be discussed as case studies for the application of these emerging technologies.
Part of the book: Wearable Technologies