Daily Health Headlines

Hi-Tech Skin Patch Might Someday Track Your Health

👤by Alan Mozes 0 comments 🕔Saturday, November 19th, 2016

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new type of acoustic sensor that resembles a small Band-Aid on the skin can monitor your heartbeat and other health measures, researchers say.

The sensor may one day offer a way to painlessly and wirelessly track an individual's health. The patch, which weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, can help doctors monitor heart health, stomach condition, vocal cord activity, lung performance and potentially many other bodily functions, researchers say.

"We've developed a soft, skin-like device that can listen to internal sounds created by function of internal organs," explained study co-author John Rogers. He was a professor of materials science and engineering and a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the study and is currently at Northwestern University.

"Think of the device as a wearable, skin-mounted stethoscope. But with capabilities for continuous listening and recording of not only sounds, but also low-frequency vibrations," Rogers said.

The research team behind this latest example of so-called "epidermal electronics" said the patch is both soft and thin. Its silicone core construction is intended to comfortably match the pliable feel of skin tissue. That makes it easy to adhere and wear anywhere on the body.

The patch is designed to "listen" through skin, tissue and fluid to register the telltale sounds and vibrations generated as you breathe, eat, move and sleep.

Those "mechano-acoustic" signals, or waves, can then be used to remotely track very specific functions, such as how well a heart valve closes, a muscle contracts, a lung expands or a vocal cord vibrates, the study authors explained.

Such signaling might even track the function of implantable mechanical devices, such as a heart pump. And because more than one type of acoustic signal can be registered at a time, the patch can keep track of multiple concerns simultaneously, the study authors said.

The patch can also be outfitted with electrodes that can record electrocardiogram (ECG) signals to keep track of the electrical health of a patient's heart, according to the researchers.

There's additional potential for helping with speech recognition. In theory, this could translate into all sorts of future applications, ranging from assisting patients who struggle with speech impairments, to offering individuals remote vocal control of all sorts of technology, the researchers said.

The researchers have tested a range of such possibilities in the lab, and also among a group of elderly volunteers at a private cardiology clinic in Tucson, Ariz.

For example, the patch was used to monitor the cardiovascular health of an 82-year-old woman diagnosed with heart valve trouble and an irregular heartbeat. It was also tried out on a 78-year-old woman who had a heart murmur.

Rogers said the results were encouraging, and "represent important extensions of the capabilities of 'skin-like' wearable devices."

Dr. Gregg Fonarow shared Roger's enthusiasm. Fonarow is a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"These types of noninvasive sensors, which have the profile of a small wearable skin patch, are likely to be well received by patients," he said.

Fonarow especially liked the patch's potential as a way for physicians to keep tabs on heart disease progression or the post-surgical functioning of devices such as heart pumps.

"However, further study and ultimately randomized clinical trials will be necessary to evaluate the accuracy, effectiveness and safety of such monitors," he cautioned.

The study was published in the Nov. 16 issue of Science Advances.

Article Credits / Source

Alan Mozes / HealthDay

Alan Mozes wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: John A. Rogers, Ph.D., professor of materials science and engineering, and professor of chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 16, 2016, Science Advances

View More Articles From Alan Mozes 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Daily Health & Medical News Articles

U.S. Death Toll From Infectious Diseases Unchanged: Study

U.S. Death Toll From Infectious Diseases Unchanged: Study0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The war against infectious diseases -- medicine versus microbes -- has been holding steady, with the U.S. death rate from these diseases about the same now as it was in 1980, new research says. But ...

2 Doses of HPV Vaccine Effective for Younger Teens

2 Doses of HPV Vaccine Effective for Younger Teens0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- New global research confirms that two doses of the vaccine for HPV, rather than three, can protect younger teens against the sexually transmitted virus. Based on this study and others, U.S. government ...

Tobacco Flavors Draw in Young Folks

Tobacco Flavors Draw in Young Folks0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Flavored tobacco products attract young people who also consider them less harmful, researchers say. The University of North Carolina team reviewed 40 studies conducted in the United States and other ...

Health Tip: Exercise Can Be a Brain-Booster

Health Tip: Exercise Can Be a Brain-Booster0

(HealthDay News) -- Exercise does more than keep your body healthier. It also affects chemicals in your brain that help you think and focus. The American Council on Exercise says: Exercise improves alertness and focus, and helps you feel ...

New Fetal Views in 3-D

New Fetal Views in 3-D0

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Expectant parents may soon be able to view a three-dimensional virtual reality version of the fetus, researchers say. This is possible with new technology that combines MRI and ultrasound data into a ...

View More Daily Health & Medical News Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!