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BioPhone Will Track Biological Signals Without Being Held

November 13, 2015 - Written By Dennis Patrick

Lately, there’s been a big movement to bring wearable technology into the market. They come in forms of smartwatches and bands aimed to track health stats such as heart rate. However, a new project being worked on from researchers at MIT may be able to toss away the need of a wearable device for tracking biological signals. Instead, if this device proves to be accurate, consumers may be able to use their own smartphone as a means of alerting them of any usual patterns or if they are stress levels are too high. The best part about this new technology is that the device would be able to gather these results without being held.

As mentioned, researchers at MIT are looking into a new project called the BioPhone, a smartphone that contains sensors capable of capturing biological signals by simply measuring your body movements. Unlike wearable devices, the BioPhone would be able to rest in your bag, pocket, or purse and still be able to sense your body for its movements and stress signals. Overall, the development of the BioPhone was started by efforts in bringing in a device to measure your rates in hopes to have an alert system if a user held too high of a stress level, however, the device is also meant to be less obtrusive.

The sensors implemented to the device can pick up small vibrations and body movements from your heart pumping. Researchers have already tested the device with other FDA approved sensors to compare results of the BioPhone. MIT researchers found that the BioPhone, on average, were off by one beat per minute along with the breathing rates by a quarter of a breath per minute. Regardless, the device would showcase a number of breathing exercises to lower the stress level of a consumer or alert a close family member to call the individual. As for where the project is right now, researchers are still looking to tweak the sensors to be capable of measuring your heart and breathing rates when resting in various areas such as pockets and bags. This sounds like a neat idea though there are other smartphones available within the market that contain a heart rate sensor such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 though both will require users to use the sensor located on the device physically.