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INVENTOR GARETH'S 'POC DOC'.

Byline: By VICTOR LOUGHLIN

A QUEEN'S student has won a top science award for his work in helping invent a "pocket doctor".

Gareth Conway, 26, received the award in San Diego, California, for his research into a device that allows doctors to monitor a patient's illnesses and injuries without seeing them.

Wearable, wireless antennas fitted on the patient send information on heart rate and breathing via a radio signal to a unit on their body.

This information can then be accessed via internet or mobile phone by a doctor.

A further use of the technology could be the monitoring of firefighters' heartbeat, respiration and movement as they tackle a blaze.

Gareth, a final year PhD student at Queen's, said he was delighted with the award. He said: "I had competition from universities from all over the world but my research is in a novel area within the field of electronics."

The unique design of the antennas could unlock the potential of wireless body area network (WBAN) technology; a network of biosensors attached to different parts of a patient's body.

DrWilliam Scanlon, who heads the project at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) in Queen's, said the UK leads the world in the development of wearable communications including WBAN antennas.

He added: "Our research could change the way that a range of illnesses, injuries and conditions are monitored, perhaps within five years."

In addition to EUR5,000 prize money, Gareth also wins software and hardware for the university worth pounds 15,000 as part of the SEMCAD X Student Research Award 2008.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2008
Words:268
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