Monitoring medical vital signs requires expensive, bulky equipment, but this could soon change thanks to a sensor being developed for the market that is so small it could be embedded in bandage. The microchip was created by electrical engineers at Oregon State University and is ready for clinical trials while a patent is currently being processed.
The reason the system-on-a-chip device is so small and thin, roughly the same as a postage stamp, is the absence of a battery. Here is the most impressive aspect of the sensor: it draws power from the radio-frequency energy emitted by a cell phone. It can harvest that type of energy within 15 feet (4.5 meters), and also from other radio-emitting devices. Even body heat and movement could theoretically power the sensor, the researchers say.