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From Wearables to Vital Monitors: The Quiet Heroes of Modern Batteries

From Wearables to Vital Monitors: The Quiet Heroes of Modern Batteries

Technology News

Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), demonstrating his pile (battery) to Napoleon in Paris, 1801. From Le Petit Journal 1901.

The unsung heroes of our technology-driven world are often the small, yet critical components that power our devices: modern batteries!

Particularly in the realm of wearables and vital health monitors, batteries play a pivotal role. Batteries allow these miniature devices to seamlessly integrate into our daily lives and maintain our health. Without the strength of today’s battery technology, much in our society would find itself limited. 

A prime example of battery limitations can be observed in the operational constraints of the Chinese Navy. Their submarines rely on batteries with limited power and thus, the Chinese submarine fleet is severely constrained and is unable to traverse underwater for more than a few hours or days while using their batteries.In essence our technological march as a society as a whole, depends on the progress of the battery. 

We decided to ask the University of Chicago’s Dr Shirley Meng, a global battery expert what she is working on.

Y. Shirley Meng | Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering | The University of Chicago

“We divide our people into subtopics like batteries for robots, flying cars, or unique battery shapes for IOT (Internet of Things). Some people are working on designing very large-scale batteries without cobalt, nickel, or lithium, because cobalt and nickel are expensive.

We are working on sodium and potassium batteries. That may seem like sci-fi, but that is why academic research is fascinating — to explore out-of-the-box ideas to explore different aspects of power and energy. We also look at how we can build a device where solar and batteries are integrated as a single device. We don’t have those commercial products yet, but a lot of the PhD or masters students find that to be a good place to invest their time.”

Empowering Wearable Technology

Wearables and health monitors have interwoven themselves into many aspects of our personal and professional lives. 

Let’s take a look at the battery power behind this technological shift!

Among these, the CR2032 lithium coin battery emerges as a key player due to its reliability and efficiency.

Moreover, for high-performance devices such as the Amazfit Bip 5, which require substantial power for GPS and Bluetooth functionalities, a high-capacity CR2032 battery is recommended. Brands like Maxell offer high-energy SR batteries, designed specifically for such demanding applications. Choosing a reputable brand ensures the reliability and durability of the battery, crucial factors for devices on which users heavily rely.

The CR2032 battery, often found in smaller wearables, supports the continuous operation of these devices. The CR2032 enjoys a lifespan of 4-5 years in applications like key fobs. In addition, with a shelf life of up to 10 years, the CR2032 ensures wearables such as the Amazfit Bip 5 perform their intended purpose reliably over an extended period of time. This is essential for users who rely on these devices for continuous health monitoring and everyday convenience.

Critical Role in Health Monitoring Devices

Capsule for endoscopy.

In the medical sector, the reliability of batteries is critical. Vital health monitors track critical metrics such as glucose levels, heart rhythms, and blood oxygen must perform accurately and continuously. Devices using the CR2032 battery benefit from its stability and longevity, which are essential for delivering consistent, life-saving readings.

The extended shelf life of the CR2032 battery also means these vital devices have the ability to become stored for emergencies. But, without a significant loss of functionality. The battery boasts a slow rate of capacity loss (about 1% per year) under normal conditions. As a result, it ensures medical devices stand available at call. Thus, making the CR2032 the ideal choice for healthcare applications.

Selecting the Right Battery

The performance of a wearable or medical device heavily depends on the quality of the battery.

Moreover, for high-performance devices such as the Amazfit Bip 5, which require substantial power for GPS and Bluetooth functionalities, a high-capacity CR2032 battery is recommended. Brands like Maxell offer high-energy versions of the CR2032, designed specifically for such demanding applications. Choosing a reputable brand ensures the reliability and durability of the battery, crucial factors for devices on which users heavily rely.

Innovation and Sustainability in Battery Technology

LR44 alkaline cell

The future of battery technology in wearables and medical devices looks promising. With ongoing innovations aimed at enhancing performance and sustainability, developments in solid-state batteries and energy-harvesting technologies are expected to revolutionize how these devices are powered. Furthermore, the experimentation with new materials for batteries and attempts at increasing energy density are interesting developments in the possible future of battery technology.  These advancements could significantly reduce reliance on traditional charging methods and improve the environmental footprint of battery production.

Furthermore, advancements in energy management technologies can extend battery life and optimize device functionality. As a result, wearables such as the Amazfit Bip 5 become more efficient and user-friendly. The integration of these technologies represents a significant step forward in the design and functionality of wearable and medical devices.

While often overlooked, modern batteries such as the CR2032 are foundational to the functionality and reliability of today’s wearable and medical technologies. Through continuous advancement and seamless integration into our daily lives, these batteries ensure such devices perform at their best, optimizing health monitoring capabilities. As this technology continues to evolve, the role of these batteries will expand, further supporting new innovations that enhance public health and wellbeing. The ongoing development of more powerful, sustainable battery solutions is critical, promising a future where technology continues to enhance human life in profound ways.

From Wearables to Vital Monitors: The Quiet Heroes of Modern Batteries