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Age Range: 11-14 | 14-16
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • D&T
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Wearable antennas

Learning about how wireless technology can used for personal health

In this activity students will discover how wireless electronic systems can be used to improve health care.

This topic investigates the driving technology behind body centric communications. Students will explore current health applications of wireless health care devices and learn about the possibilities for the future as well as the ethical issues surrounding these advancements.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the class teaching of the secondary national curriculum, particularly KS3. It has been designed to support the delivery of key topics within design and technology (DT) and science.

Activity: Learning about how wireless technology can used for personal health care

Students will firstly work through our Pacemaker case study, where they must explain why someone with a pacemaker needs to be cautious around certain sources of radiofrequency energy. They will then draw a labelled diagram of a heart, pacemaker, and connecting wire (BCA), with annotations explaining how the pacemaker helps with heart problems.

Students will then review our Body Centric Antenna (BCA) case study where a BCA increases the speed at which data can be made available to health professionals. After reading the case study, students must produce then a short leaflet that explains the potential health benefits of BCAs.

Download our activity overview for an introductory lesson plan on wearable healthcare technology.

The engineering context

Body centric communications have abundant applications in personal healthcare, smart homes, personal entertainment, identification systems, space exploration and the military.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity students will understand that an electronic decision-making system consists of an input, a processor, and an output. They will also know that changes in physical factors will result in an energy transfer in a transducer (i.e., a transducer can be used as a sensor). Finally, they will be introduced to some of the social uses of electronic systems in health care.

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your class’s and your schools’ needs.

You can download our classroom lesson plan below.

Please do share your highlights with us @IETeducation. 


Body centric communications

Engineers without borders

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