Light-based data transmission can replace wires in hospitals

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Mariella Moon
August 26th, 2015
In this article: hospital, li-fi, medicine
Light-based data transmission can replace wires in hospitals

It's not unusual to see patients in hospitals with wires sticking out of their bodies -- it's just something you expect, especially in ICUs. A group of South Korean researchers, however, believe there's a better alternative: lights. The team from Pukyong National University in Busan is suggesting the use of visible light-based communications or LiFi for some machines, according to IEEE. For instance, it could be used to transmit signals from an EEG, so a patient's head doesn't have to be tethered to an obscene number of wires.

During their tests, they found that EEG signals are weak and tend to be distorted when transmitted through red, green and blue LEDs. But, they managed to amplify them and to counter the distortion using color filters. Another team from Pukyong already managed to demonstrate ECG signal transmission through LiFi, upping the count of hospital machines that could get rid of wires to two. This particular group led by Yeon Ho Chung also wants to use LiFi for electrooculography, though, which measures the movement of one's eye. If successful, LiFi could be used to transmit signals when controlling computers through eye movements -- something that could be invaluable for quadriplegics.

[Image credit: springm / Markus Spring/Flickr]

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