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Health Tech: Heat Energy Harvesting

Tired of recharging your wearables? Use your body heat instead!

Wearable sensors are revolutionizing healthcare by providing more information about our bodies, but they need power to operate batteries and recharging can be inconvenient. So researchers are looking at ways to harvest energy to create the electricity that they need. One approach is to use our own body’s heat to generate power. But the problem here is you need a difference between hot and cold. So you need to have a device that remains in contact with the body’s skin in order to get the maximum amount of heat out of it. Researchers at North Carolina state have developed a device that is flexible and much more efficient at transferring heat for energy harvesting. They use a special silicon rubber that has graphene flakes in it, and it’s six times better at transferring heat than their previous model. So it may soon be that you won’t need batteries for your wearable devices because we’ll be able to gather the heat from our own bodies and use that to power them.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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