S-t-r-e-t-c-h that sensor patch! Stanford’s breakthrough for health wearables

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Stamford-stretchy-sensor.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /](Photo: Nature) Here’s a stretchy polymer with the right stuff for wearables. It can stretch, wrinkle and heal like skin. It can be ‘healed’ if damaged. Most of all, according to the Chemical & Engineering News article summarizing the Nature letter (PDF link) authored by the Stanford University team, it “has an electronic performance on par with amorphous silicon, the material that’s used in transistor arrays that control liquid-crystal display pixels. And it maintains that electrical performance even when stretched to double its original size.” We have been following stretchy sensors for some years, highlighting the pioneering work of John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and his team, whose work has been commercially marketed through MC10 [our back file here], but the difference here is the process. Rogers and others have been meticulously building rigid sensors onto a rubbery material that has some ‘give’. In Rogers’ words, “Stretchy mechanics and efficient charge transport typically do not go together.”  Bao’s group has developed “clever chemistries that seem to capture both properties in a single material.” Early days still, but tremendous potential in healthcare wearables for those who truly understand the technical aspects of this and develop accordingly. Hat tip to Jerry Kolosky of Panasonic via LinkedIn

Wearables for diabetes, more get thinner on a ‘smart skin’ diet

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/BG-cuff.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]A team from the Seoul (South Korea) National University, University of Texas-Austin and wearable health sensor developer MC10 [TTA previous articles] have developed a translucent, thin graphene ‘cuff’ with sensors for blood glucose and a not-quite-complete metformin delivery mechanism for those with Type 2 diabetes. The graphene is ‘doped’ with gold to have it transmit blood glucose readings inferred on mechanical strain, skin temperature, and chemical composition of sweat. The mobile app calculates the metformin medication dose needed and the wristband administers it through an array of microneedles. This would not be a semi closed-loop system (dubbed here a ‘robopancreas’) which Type 1 diabetics now can use for insulin delivery, as there’s a delay in sensing and delivery. It also cannot in present form correct for excessively low blood glucose. IEEE Spectrum, Nature (abstract) Hat tip to former TTA Ireland Editor Toni Bunting

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Screen-Shot-2016-03-11-at-11.12.41-AM.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]Another wearable sensor bracelet with a distinctly ‘home-brewed’ feel is out of academia, from the Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s Integrated Nanotechnology Laboratory in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. The research team pulled together office supplies–no, you are not misreading this: (more…)

Sweat analyzing sensor patch flies high at USAF Research Lab

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/USAF-sweat-sensor.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Call them ‘sticky sensors’, biosensor tattoos or as you like, but there’s been a lot of research happening in the past three years around gathering biometrics from skin contact. Whether it’s the John Rogers ‘skunk works’ at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign measuring ECG, EEG and cardiovascular conditions; University of California-San Diego’s lactate and blood glucose monitoring; MC10’s Biostamp for infant temperature, head impacts and neurological disorders plus NewDealDesign‘s multi-purpose implants, skin is in. Though the Apple Watch was flummoxed (for now) by biometrics due to hairy arms and sweat [TTA 18 Feb], these sensors thrive on the latter. The US Air Force (USAF) Research Laboratory has been working on sweat analytic sensors for some time now [TTA 24 Apr 14]. (more…)

That comfy sensor patch gets a bit closer (US/BE)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Baby_with_Biostamp.png” thumb_width=”180″ /][grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/MC10_Biostamp-small.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Perhaps we should be adding to our sidebar lexicon ‘conformal electronics’. Boston-based wearable health technology developer MC10 is partnering with Brussels-based biopharmaceutical company UCB S.A. to develop MC10’s Biostamp platform for treating those with severe neurological disorders. MC10 developed a seamless, disposable sensing sticker with thin film batteries (right above) which is currently in use in the Reebok Checklight to determine sports-related concussion risk [TTA 16 May, “Brain Games”] and in beta for infant temperature sensing (left above). It seems clear from the announcement today and further remarks (see below) that the objective is not drug delivery, but for patient monitoring and disease management. MC10 commercializes John Rogers’ work in stretchable sensor patches and batteries [TTA 10 April]. The Biostamp does not have FDA approval but the partnership may be a way to fast-track CE approval. MC10 release, Fast Company (also reviews Proteus, Corventis, Given Imaging), Mobihealthnews with comments from Ben Schlatka, MC10 cofounder.

‘Brain Games’ on preventing, diagnosing sub-concussive brain trauma

Tuesday 13 May, presented at NYC MedTech-the NYC Medical Technology Forum, at Troutman Sanders LLP, Chrysler Building, New York City

In a packed (agenda and attendees) two hour evening meeting, three presenters detailed the latest research on the clinical signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), along with new technologies for detecting it as it happens and diagnosing it plus monitoring recovery: Robert Stern, PhD, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine and a leading clinical researcher on CTE (as our long-time readers know) ; Isaiah Kacyvenski, head of the sports segment of electronics designer MC10 which developed the Checklight head impact indicator for Reebok; and Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD, co-founder of Oculogica which presented at ELabNYC a few weeks ago.

Dr. Stern’s presentation reviewed his clinical work with primarily NFL players in how CTE manifests in both behavior patterns and the brain. His focus remains on sub-concussive trauma, the ‘bottom of the iceberg’ in his analogy, and its cumulative, long-term effects.  Repetitive brain trauma–neuronal shearing which is produced by linear, lateral and rotational forces to the head–produce a cascade of brain changes leading to destruction of brain tissues that show as dark patches on post-mortem samples and scans. These differ from Alzheimer’s disease in the abundance of tau protein distributed fairly early in life around the brain’s blood vessels and in the depths of the cortical sulci, where Alzheimer’s signature beta amyloid does not locate. Dr. Stern’s research also incorporates the behavioral changes that precede diagnosis: the emotional ‘short fuse’, the difficulty in memory, accidents, suicide, drastic changes in behavior and impulse control. There are many examples of degeneration and early death among players [TTA 6 Dec 12 which also refers to Dr. Stern’s research published in Brain; also see TTA 5 June 2013 on his German Center presentation which has additional background on his and his team’s research.]

In addition to the work he has done relating to (American) football (he is on the NFL Players Association brain injury committee and his research was instrumental in the PA’s lawsuit against the NFL), he studies other contact sports such as hockey (brain injury clusters (more…)

10 sensor-based telehealth companies

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/biostamp.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Our First 10 For Friday is what is termed a ‘sensor technology renaissance’ in telehealth, mostly tied to that sensor-equipped device called a smartphone. The ten companies profiled in Bionic.ly, including an ingestible, are:

Sano Intelligence–wearable patch sensor transmitting blood chemistry data such as glucose and potassium

Zephyr Technology–performance shirts in partnership with UnderArmour [TTA 25 Mar]

Cardiio–developed by the MIT Media Lab, it uses changes in skin tone read by an iPhone to measure resting heart rate [TTA 21 Mar]

MC10 (picture left/above)–the Biostamp elastic sensor and sensors used by combat soldiers to measure hydration, temperature, impact and other body indicators [TTA 22 Feb] (more…)