Image source: Research centre Fraunhofer FEP

OLED light therapy wearable aims to help heal wounds and treat depression

A new OLED bracelet has been developed which aims to help heal wounds and treat depression through light therapy. The wearable comes from a trio of research groups led by Germany’s Franhofer FEP. The innovative product was demoed at the Wearables Europe 2018 convention, which took place earlier this month in Berlin.

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The gizmo is one of the first wearable products with flexible organic electronics coming from the European joint project PI-SCALE. This is a European-wide pilot line for companies to test and scale up flexible OLED lighting concepts.

The bracelet works by emitting light at specific wave-lengths. Researchers say, if worn on the head, the positive effect of the red and yellow OLEDs can help to offset depression. The bracelet can also assist in healing on the wearers arms or legs when tuned to a certain frequency.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP worked on the anode deposition on barrier web. Holland-based Holst Center developed the OLED-deposition using evaporation processes. Finally, Finland’s VTT Technical Research Center integrated the technology into a bracelet and configured the power supply. The result of these joint efforts is a lightweight flexible OLED bracelet pictured above.

“We used injection molded structural electronics for the integration of the OLED,” VTT’s Markus Tuomikoski said.

“To meet the demands of a wearable device, the conception and realization of a compact power supply system was necessary. In the end we realized a combination of flexible electronics and flexible OLED within our plastic molded bracelet uncomplicated thanks to the positive joint work of the partners.”

The plan is to introduce a market-ready version of the bracelet shortly. If you’re not keen on the light therapy, the wearable can also be used as a fashion item or a security device for people working outside at night.

OLEDs have long held the promise of delivering a whole new world of large-area, transparent, flexible and low-energy lights. The OLED bracelet is one of the first products to demonstrate the potential of using such technology not just for illumination but also in the area of health and wellness.

Sources: Digital Journal; LEDs Magazine; eeNews; Printed Electronics Now

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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