Doctors & researchers have been working for quite some time to find a way to track a patients health without hassle. With a growing number of people being afflicted with multiple diseases, it has become really important for doctors & patients themselves to have constant access to vital medical information.
In recent times, fitness bands have become a temporary solution to this problem. But considering their price, along with their obvious medical limitations, they don’t offer a complete solution to the issue at hand. Here’s where a team of researchers from the Cockrell School Of Engineering have found a brilliant ray of hope.
Associated with The University Of Texas at Austin, this team has invented a method for producing Wearable Patches that can continuously monitor the body’s vital signs. More importantly, they have found a way of producing them for cheap.
Assistant Professor Nanshu Lu, the team’s head, himself helped develop this technology back in 2011. This process uses a “Cut & Paste” method to make Disposable Ultra-Thin Tattoo Like Patches that will provide health monitoring facilities such as picking up & transmitting the human body’s vital signals, heart rate, hydration level, muscle movement, temperature and brain activity.
It is assumed that manufacturing time for such patches will be cut down from several days to only 20 Minutes, by combining Roll-To-Roll Manufacturing process with this “Cut & Paste” technology. This will also remove the requirement for a clean room, wafers and other expensive resources & equipment when it comes to mass production.
“One of the most attractive aspects of epidermal electronics is their ability to be disposable,” Lu said. “If you can make them inexpensively, say for $1, then more people will be able to use them more frequently. This will open the door for a number of mobile medical applications and beyond.”
These cut-and-pasted patches have already been tested as part of the study. The tests showed that the patches attached to the skin perfectly & picked up body signals more easily in comparison to existing medical devices, minimizing motion-induced false signals or errors.
The team has already published a paper in Advanced Materials Journal, on the process. It is their hope, that they will soon be able to add even more sensors to the patches, which will open up a host of applications for Health monitoring & treatment.