Monday, April 9, 2007

Scottish Scientists Develop "Spray-On Computers" for Healthcare

Scottish ingenuity has graced the world with some of the world's greatest inventions. First there was the game of golf, which was quickly followed by the development of Scotch whiskey, and last but not least, spray-on computers. Yep, entirely self-powered, self-networking digital "specks" which will be capable of collecting volumes of data on patients.

Speckled computing - some of the most advanced computing technology in the world - is currently being researched and developed by a group of Scottish experts.

The individual appliances, or 'specks', will form networks that can be programmed like ordinary computers.

Spraying them directly onto a person creates the ability to carry out different tests at the same time, for example muscle movement and pulse rate. This allows a complete picture of the patient's condition to be built up quickly.

The computing innovation, being developed by scientists at Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities, will be displayed at the Edinburgh International Science Festival next Friday as part of a talk by Damal Arvind, leading speckled computing professor and director of the Scottish consortium.

Arvind said: "This is the new class of computing: devices which can sense and process the data they receive. They also have a radio so they can network and there's a battery in there as well, so they are entirely self-powered.

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