Electronic medical implants, if they are to have wireless connectivity, need a relatively powerful energy source to operate the antenna. Well, that’s an assumption that been thrown away by researchers at the University of Washington who have developed a way for implants to serve as signal reflectors that turn one wireless signal into another while encoding their own information in the process.
The thing that may strike techie folks as odd is that the incoming signal is Bluetooth and the reflected signal produced by the Interscatter implants is WiFi. Because of the combination of signals used, the technology allows for data transmission from the implant even when behind lots of tissue. Additionally, because of the standard nature of Bluetooth and WiFi, the technology can take advantage of existing smartphones and other mobile devices, and can be easily adopted by medical device manufacturers.
Take a look at University of Washington’s explanation of how Interscatter works:
Here’s a paper on the technology to be presented next week at the annual conference of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM 2016) in Brazil: Inter-Technology Backscatter: Towards Internet Connectivity for Implanted Devices…