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Personal health trackers may include smart face mask, other wearables

For years, automotive companies have developed intelligent sensors to provide real-time monitoring of a vehicle’s health, including engine oil pressure,…

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For years, automotive companies have developed intelligent sensors to provide real-time monitoring of a vehicle’s health, including engine oil pressure, tire pressure and air-fuel mixture. Together, these sensors can provide an early warning system for a driver to identify a potential problem before it may need to be repaired.

Credit: University of Missouri

For years, automotive companies have developed intelligent sensors to provide real-time monitoring of a vehicle’s health, including engine oil pressure, tire pressure and air-fuel mixture. Together, these sensors can provide an early warning system for a driver to identify a potential problem before it may need to be repaired.

Now, in a similar vein biologically, Zheng Yan, an assistant professor in the MU College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, has recently published two studies demonstrating different ways to improve wearable bioelectronic devices and materials to provide better real-time monitoring of a person’s health, including vital signs.

Developing a ‘smart’ face mask

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the idea of mask-wearing to the forefront of many people’s minds. In response, one focus of Yan’s lab has been to develop breathable soft bioelectronics. He said it was natural for him and his team to come up with the idea for integrating bioelectronics in a breathable face mask, which can monitor someone’s physiological status based on the nature of the person’s cough. Their findings were recently published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

“Different respiratory problems lead to different cough frequencies and degrees,” Yan said. “Taking chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as an example, the frequency of cough in the early morning is higher than that in the daytime and night. Our smart face mask can effectively monitor cough frequencies, which may assist physicians with knowing disease development and providing timely, customized interventions.”

In addition to monitoring someone’s physiological status, the mask can also help identify proper mask wearing in public places using a bioelectronic sensor, Yan said. At this time, the mask does not have the capability to provide automatic reminders, but they would like to develop that function in the future.

Laser-assisted fabrication of wearable electronics

For a decade, scientists have been utilizing a laser-assisted fabrication approach, but Yan said one area that could still benefit from this approach is in building wearable bioelectronics.

“Laser-assisted fabrication is simple, scalable, cost-effective and easily customizable,” Yan said. “This can lower the cost of wearable electronics and benefit both their practical, one-time use and personalization by providing customized devices for health care applications.”

In a recent study published in Science Advances, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Yan and his team studied the potential of using a metallic conductor called MoO2.

“It exhibits high electrical conductivity, chemical stability, MRI-compatibility and biocompatibility, which is well suitable for construction of various bioelectronic sensors and stimulators,” Yan said.

Yan said one potential application of this approach could be to help monitor a person’s breathing.

“Monitoring a person’s breathing rhythm will be useful for diagnosis of some diseases, such as sleep apnea,” Yan said. “Also, we could concurrently monitor the heart rate, heart rate variation and electroencephalograms to provide more comprehensive information for the study of sleep apnea.”

“A Breathable, Reusable, and Zero-Power Smart Face Mask for Wireless Cough and Mask-Wearing Monitoring,” was published in ACS Nano. Other authors include Yun Ling, Yadong Xu at MU: Pai-Yen Chen, Zhilu Ye, Minye Yang and Liang Zhu at University of Illinois at Chicago. Funding was provided by grants from the National Science Foundation (ECCS-1914420 and CMMI-2045101). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

“Laser-Scribed Conductive, Photoactive Transition Metal Oxide on Soft Elastomers for Janus On-Skin Electronics and Soft Actuators,” was published in Science Advances. Other authors include Ganggang Zhao, Yun Ling, Zanyu Chen, Cherian J. Mathai, Ogheneobarome Emeje, Alexander Brown, Xaioqing He, David Stalla, Yadong Xu, Zehua Chen and Shubhra Gangopadhyay, at MU; Yajuan Su and Jingwei Xie at University of Nebraska Medical Center; Dinesh Reddy Alla and Jie Huang at Missouri University of Science and Technology; Chan Song Kim and Qian Chen at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Pai-Yen Chen at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Funding was provided by startup funds and an EM Excellence Award from the University of Missouri; grants from the National Science Foundation (1917630 and 2045101); startup funds from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and grants from the National Institute of General Medical Science of National Institutes of Health (R01GM123081 and R01GM138552). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

Editor’s Note: Yan is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering as well as the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.


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Economics

Expert on Bath & Body Works: ‘an easy double the next three years’

Bath & Body Works Inc (NYSE: BBWI) might have been painful for the shareholders this year, but the road ahead will likely be a rewarding one, says…

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Bath & Body Works Inc (NYSE: BBWI) might have been painful for the shareholders this year, but the road ahead will likely be a rewarding one, says the Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Westwood Group.

BBWI separated from Victoria’s Secret

The retail chain separated from Victoria’s Secret in 2021, which, as per Lauren Hill, clears the way for a 100% increase in the stock price in the coming years. On CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime”, she said:

[Bath & Body Works] has really strong pricing power. They have 85% of their supply chain in the United States and with the Victoria’s Secret brand now gone, I think it’s a wonderful buy; an easy double the next three years.

Last month, the Columbus-headquartered company reported results for its fiscal first quarter that topped Wall Street expectations.

Bath & Body Works is a reopening play

The stock currently trades at a PE multiple of 6.64. Hill is convinced Bath & Body works is a reopening name and will perform so much better as the world continues to pull out of the pandemic. She noted:

Customers have missed buying their scented products in store and as their social occasion calendars fill up, they are getting back out there and buying more gifts, including Bath & Body Works products.

Hill also dubbed BBWI a great pick amidst the ongoing inflationary pressures because of its reasonably priced products. Shares are down more than 50% versus the start of 2022.

The post Expert on Bath & Body Works: ‘an easy double the next three years’ appeared first on Invezz.

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Economics

Majority Of C-Suite Execs Thinking Of Quitting, 40% Overwhelmed At Work: Deloitte Survey

Majority Of C-Suite Execs Thinking Of Quitting, 40% Overwhelmed At Work: Deloitte Survey

Authored by Naveen Anthrapully via The Epoch Times,

A…

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Majority Of C-Suite Execs Thinking Of Quitting, 40% Overwhelmed At Work: Deloitte Survey

Authored by Naveen Anthrapully via The Epoch Times,

A majority of C-suite executives are considering leaving their jobs, according to a Deloitte survey of 2,100 employees and C-level executives from the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Almost 70 percent of executives admitted that they are seriously thinking of quitting their jobs for a better opportunity that supports their well-being, according to the survey report published on June 22. Over three-quarters of executives said that the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively affected their well-being.

Roughly one in three employees and C-suite executives admitted to constantly struggling with poor mental health and fatigue. While 41 percent of executives “always” or “often” felt stressed, 40 percent were overwhelmed, 36 percent were exhausted, 30 percent felt lonely, and 26 percent were depressed.

“Most employees (83 percent) and executives (74 percent) say they’re facing obstacles when it comes to achieving their well-being goals—and these are largely tied to their job,” the report says. “In fact, the top two hurdles that people cited were a heavy workload or stressful job (30 percent), and not having enough time because of long work hours (27 percent).”

While 70 percent of C-suite execs admitted to considering quitting, this number was at only 57 percent among other employees. The report speculated that a reason for such a wide gap might be the fact that top-level executives are often in a “stronger financial position,” due to which they can afford to seek new career opportunities.

Interestingly, while only 56 percent of employees think their company executives care about their well-being, a much higher 91 percent of C-suite administrators were of the opinion that their employees believe their leaders took care of them. The report called this a “notable gap.”

Resignation Rates

The Deloitte report comes amid a debate about resignation rates in the U.S. workforce. Over 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, with job openings hitting 11.9 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In the period from January 2021 to February 2022, almost 57 million Americans left their jobs.

Though some are terming it the “Great Resignation,” giving it a negative connotation, the implication is not entirely true since most of those who quit jobs did so for other opportunities. In the same 14 months, almost 89 million people were hired. There are almost two jobs open for every unemployed person in the United States, according to MarketWatch.

In an Economic Letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published in April, economics professor Bart Hobijn points out that high waves of resignations were common during rapid economic recoveries in the postwar period prior to 2000.

“The quits waves in manufacturing in 1948, 1951, 1953, 1966, 1969, and 1973 are of the same order of magnitude as the current wave,” he wrote. “All of these waves coincide with periods when payroll employment grew very fast, both in the manufacturing sector and the total nonfarm sector.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/25/2022 - 20:30

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Spread & Containment

Optimism Slowly Returns To The Tourism Sector

Optimism Slowly Returns To The Tourism Sector

Coming off the worst year in tourism history, 2021 wasn’t much of an improvement, as travel…

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Optimism Slowly Returns To The Tourism Sector

Coming off the worst year in tourism history, 2021 wasn't much of an improvement, as travel remained subdued in the face of the persistent threat posed by Covid-19.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), export revenues from tourism (including passenger transport receipts) remained more than $1 trillion below pre-pandemic levels in 2021, marking the second trillion-dollar loss for the tourism industry in as many years.

As Statista's Felix Richter details below, while the brief rebound in the summer months of 2020 had fueled hopes of a quick recovery for the tourism sector, those hopes were dashed with each subsequent wave of the pandemic.

And despite a record-breaking global vaccine rollout, travel experts struggled to stay optimistic in 2021, as governments kept many restrictions in place in their effort to curb the spread of new, potentially more dangerous variants of the coronavirus.

Halfway through 2022, optimism has returned to the industry, however, as travel demand is ticking up in many regions.

You will find more infographics at Statista

According to UNWTO's latest Tourism Barometer, industry experts are now considerably more confident than they were at the beginning of the year, with 48 percent of expert panel participants expecting a full recovery of the tourism sector in 2023, up from just 32 percent in January. 44 percent of surveyed industry insiders still think it'll take until 2024 or longer for tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels, another notable improvement from 64 percent in January.

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/25/2022 - 21:00

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