Researchers at the University of California San Diego have used flexible electronics to develop health monitors. They developed a soft and stretchy skin patch that can monitor cardiovascular signals and multiple biochemicals. It is the first wearable device that monitors these at the same time.
This patch can be worn on the neck. It can help in tracking BP and heart rate while measuring the wearer’s glucose level and lactate, alcohol, or caffeine.
Lu Yin, the co-first author of the study, said, “This type of wearable would be very helpful for people with underlying medical conditions to monitor their own health on a regular basis.”
“It would also serve as a great tool for remote patient monitoring, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when people are minimizing in-person visits to the clinic.”
The device can benefit patients both in and out of a hospital
Because the patients in intensive care units and infants in NICU require continuous monitoring of different vital signs. This soft skin patch will offer a convenient alternative for patients. Traditionally these procedures involve multiple monitoring devices.
It will allow healthcare professionals to monitor levels without patients having to stay at a facility.
JosephWang, the co-corresponding author of the study, said, “We can collect so much information with this one wearable and do so in a non-invasive way, without causing discomfort or interruptions to daily activity,”
The device is equipped with one blood pressure sensor and two chemical sensors. One of these chemical sensors measures glucose levels, and the other measures levels of caffeine, alcohol, and lactate in sweat.
“Each sensor provides a separate picture of a physical or chemical change. Integrating them all in one wearable patch allows us to stitch those different pictures together to get a more comprehensive overview of what’s going on in our bodies,” said Xu, a co-corresponding author of the study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.