Stick on that comfy sensor patch

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /] From the head researcher (John Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) who brought you biodegradable implanted batteries and sensors [TTA 26 March], comes an almost tattoo-like stretchable sensor conforming to the skin which uses off-the-shelf, chip-based electronics for wireless monitoring. It is envisioned for wireless health tracking connecting to smartphones and computers, and for vital monitoring such as ECG and EEG testing, although this Editor would not use the term ‘clinical’ as Gizmodo has done (it is probably at the fairly sound level of an AliveCor.) However the article points out the advantages in long term use–adherence to skin is far more reliable, no dangling pendants or clunky bracelets, and it allows for multiple sensors to be worn comfortably. This type of patch would also be far kinder to the delicate skin of babies and the elderly. For them, it would make consistent long-term telehealth monitoring (e.g. blood pressure, ECG, O2, blood glucose) far easier over time. Perhaps the core of this is the PERS of the future with gait tracking and fall detection. Cost isn’t mentioned, but off the shelf elements undoubtedly are less expensive than custom/bespoke. Published in Science 4 April (abstract and summary; full text requires log in) Also see Editor Charles’ earlier take–maybe Mr. Rogers should speak to him!

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  1. Guy Spelman

    Hi there
    It sounds like they do not have FDA approval if they won’t use the word clinical. You should look at the ‘Sensium’ plaster from the Toumaz Group. It is in commercial deployment now in USA and UK and was granted FDA and EU approval in 2011-12. The problem with all the research departments in the US University scene is that they think they are the only people doing development and no one can do it as well as them !! Not the case !!

  2. Donna Cusano

    For those who’d like to know more about the Sensium vital signs monitor which is primarily for use in hospitals and in care homes (US=skilled nursing).

    The difference between Sensium and the UI stretchy sensor of course is the size and the interface with a smartphone/PC app. Re FDA, the UI sensor is still in the research stage. However could Sensium provide a platform for it? Also how is their progress in the US?

  3. Guy Spelman

    Donna, sorry to be slow to respond. Toumaz Group have been using Sensium at the St.Johns Health Center in LA and Spire Healthcare in the UK. I think the first location is Brighton…Guy