NEW YORK-Applied Digital Solutions Inc., Hauppauge, N.Y., hopes its Digital Angel will take commercial flight within 12-18 months, providing an on-body gauge of vital signs transmitted wirelessly to medical professionals.
Digital Angel is a miniature digital transceiver, whose patent rights Applied Digital Solutions purchased late last year.
“This is an enabling technology, not just a simple product,” said Peter Y. Zhou, chief scientist.
Digital Angel combines the global positioning system with sensors to monitor the body or the environment and wireless telecommunications. The device works with any terrestrial wireless network, Zhou said.
An important part of the package is the power source, which Applied Digital Solutions developed. The self-charging battery converts body heat into electrical energy, he said.
“Our wireless transmission involves revolutionary circuitry physics to achieve real-time transmission of critical data,” said Randolph K. Geissler, chairman and chief executive officer of DigitalAngel.net Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions.
Applied Digital Solutions’ Digital Angel will provide the data collection, storage and distribution, network management and customer interaction functions, he said.
Once the sensor collects the vital signs and receives accurate location information via satellite, it then will transmit this data over terrestrial wireless networks to a ground station integrated into the Internet.
Digital Angel can be activated and deactivated at will by the wearer, and it does not interact or interfere with any bodily functions, the company said.
The monitoring and transmission of vital signs information is just one of 26 potential vertical markets identified for Digital Angel by McKinsey and Co. Inc. management consultants, said Richard J. Sullivan, chairman and chief executive officer of Applied Digital Solutions.
“Conservative estimates are the U.S. market is $70 billion for an attachable device worn on the outside of or close to the body, and the worldwide potential is even bigger” he said.
“One of the biggest new opportunities of the New Economy is convergence. This is the convergence of microelectronics, information technology and life sciences, three of the fastest growing segments of the economy in recent years.”
Other possible applications for Digital Angel include: tracking endangered wildlife, livestock or household pets; pinpointing the location of stolen property or lost airline baggage or mailed packages; managing the commodity supply chain; preventing the unauthorized use of firearms; and providing a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced security in electronic commerce.