Wearable Health Devices (WHDs) are an emerging technology that enables continuous monitoring of vital signs during daily life. Issues with constant and consistent data acquisition have been found while WHD technology has developed. The force of the measurement area and movement of the sensors are key mechanical issues that need to be solved for WHDs to become a viable way to continuously monitor health conditions. This work explores Constant-Force Mechanisms (CFMs) as a solution to problems the current WHD industry faces. Additionally, the relationship between force provided from the mechanism, sensor pressure on the wrist, patient comfort, and sensor readings quality are explored and analyzed. Design requirements for a constant-force wristband were narrowed down to seven critical requirements (mechanism size vs. allowable travel, ability to be used on a curved surface, works well with existing clasps, ease of assembly, direction of travel, material, and force generation). These key requirements need to be considered for a WHD with an integrated CFM to be designed successfully. Two main concepts (buckling beams and tape springs) were prototyped and evaluated against the seven key requirements. The design and testing of a wrist worn sensing band used to gather relationship data among band tension, sensor pressure, patient comfort, and pulsatile signal quality is also presented. Human subject testing (IRB2020-268) was performed on a wristband with an integrated CFM and the wrist worn sensing band that were developed. The band with an integrated CFM compared pressure on the wrist for both a band with and without an integrated CFM for eight different movement activities. On average the band with the integrated CFM had a lower coefficient of variation for all except one of the activities. The data collected from the wrist worn sensing band shows that tension varies linearly with pressure, and that the pressure vs. tension slope increases with increasing wrist width. There also exists a linear relationship between tension and patient pain/comfort, but pressure does not show an effect on the patient discomfort or pain experienced. Signal quality when measured in the range of of 0-4 N and 0-20 kPa does not have a direct correlation to either tension or pressure.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Naylor, Thomas Alexander, "Exploration of Constant-Force Wristbands for a Wearable Health Device" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9166.
compliant mechanisms, constant-force mechanisms, wearable health devices