E-health made easier—and more comfortable

E-health made easier--and more comfortable
A close-up view of the Bio-patch.

The future of health care could be found in a tiny, paper-thin skin patch that collects vital information. The Bio-patch sensor developed by researchers at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology is inexpensive, versatile and, best of all, comfortable to wear.

Geng Yang, a researcher at JRC iPack centre at KTH, says that the Bio-patch measures bioelectrical signals through the skin, gathering data on different parts of the body depending on where it is placed.

"On the chest it provides electrocardiography (ECG), on the skull it measures brainwaves (EEC), and on the it can measure muscle response to stimulation from the nervous system (EMG)," he says. It also has a built-in sensor that constantly monitors body temperature.

With a wireless connection, the patient can analyse the readings in their smartphone, or send the data via internet to a healthcare professional for diagnosis.

The thinking behind Bio-patch is that health care can be moved out of the hospitals and into the home, Yang says. "Bio-patch is a step towards what is known as self-care, which is valuable especially for patients discharged after an operation, or for the elderly living unassisted," he says.

While the technology is versatile, interest has focused on the heart. "Heart diseases account for the majority of all deaths in the EU," he says.

Yang says Bio-patch can also aid detection of , by generating EMG data that helps physicians distinguish muscle changes from .

A paper thin battery energy source in the Bio-patch helps make the patch comfortable and as small as possible, he says.

"Patient comfort will be an important success factor for the next generation of medical technology," Yang says. "All electronic components are mounted on a flexible foil, which makes it easy to attach to the skin and to wear comfortably," he says. Bio-patch is easy to attach to the skin and can be discarded after use.

Bio-patch has resulted in several publications in prestigious scientific journals and successful development of a prototype. Yang says several companies have already shown interest in the product.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Treating peanut allergy through a patch

Mar 02, 2011

Can your peanut-allergic child be treated by simply wearing a patch? That’s what researchers at National Jewish Health are investigating. National Jewish Health, along with four other institutions in the Consortium of ...

Blood testing, mosquito style

Apr 24, 2009

A skin patch could one day provide a less-invasive alternative for diabetics who need to take regular samples of their own blood to keep glucose levels in check. The common method of drawing blood from fingertips and using ...

New 'electronic skin' patches monitor health wirelessly

Mar 27, 2012

Like the colorful temporary tattoos that children stick to their arms for fun, people may one day put thin "electronic skin" patches onto their arms to wirelessly diagnose health problems or deliver treatments. A scientis ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments