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Off the Shelf, on the Skin: Stick-On Electronic Patches For Health Monitoring

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This stick-on patch stretches and moves with the skin, and incorporates electronics for wireless health monitoring.

Researchers have developed stick-on patches equipped with easily obtained electronics that monitor the wearer's health and report on it wirelessly.

Credit: John A. Rogers

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Northwestern University have developed thin, soft, stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring.

The researchers say the patches could be used for daily health tracking, wirelessly sending updates to a cellphone or computer, and could revolutionize clinical monitoring such as EKG and EEG testing.

"What is very important about this device is it is wirelessly powered and can send high-quality data about the human body to a computer, in real time," says Northwestern professor Yonggang Huang.

During testing, the researchers found the wireless patch performed as well as conventional sensors, while being significantly more comfortable for patients. "There's a lot of value in complementing this specialized strategy with our new concepts in microfluidics and origami interconnects to enable compatibility with commercial off-the-shelf parts for accelerated development, reduced costs, and expanded options in device types," says UIUC professor John A. Rogers.

The researchers note the integrated sensing systems could monitor health and help identify problems before the patient is aware of them.

From University of Illinois News Bureau
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