If you know anyone with an artificial heart implant, they will probably tell you that it consumes a fair bit of energy, not to mention it usually comes with a power cable that penetrates the skin, which can sometimes lead to infection which will then lead to further complications, especially if the patient’s immune system has been weakened after their surgery. Inductive charging seems to be the obvious solution as it requires no power cable, although beaming a consistent transmission of energy over a distance has been a challenge.
It seems that quite recently, scientists at the University of Washington have reported that they are building a new system that allows for consistent transmission of energy to a depth equivalent to the diameter of the coil, which means that by using a 4-inch coil, they will be able to beam down 4-inches into the chest, which they claim should be sufficient to power most devices in average sized people, although larger coils can be built for larger sized people.
What they are hoping to achieve with this is the freedom of movement to go about and do certain things which current patients can’t do, such as swimming for example. The researchers are picturing a vest that can be worn and could hold an external transmitter coil connected to a power cord or battery. A small receiver coil would then be implanted under the patient’s skin which would then be connected to a battery that holds enough power for about two hours.
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