Using thin-film electronic patches or the so-called electronic "tattoos" for biomonitoring is paving the way for the future of healthcare in terms of better signal quality, higher patient comfort and wearability.
Recently, in an article published in Advanced Functional Materials, researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and the University of Coimbra (Portugal) have proposed a novel implementation of digitally-printed electronic bio stickers for high resolution electrophysiological monitoring. Applications include Electrocardiography (heart monitoring), electroencephalography (brain activity monitoring), electrooculography (eye movement monitoring) or electromyography (recording of muscle activity) both for hand gesture classification and detection of facial expressions. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Flexible Electronics in Healthcare 2020-2030.
For the first time, a multi-application patient-specific biomonitoring system based on printed soft electronics has been proven to work for more than five days over the body, even when doing exercise and taking daily showers.
As well, it has been shown that the thin-film skin-interfacing electrodes (printed using a soft conductive ink) benefit from a lower electrode-skin impedance when compared to clinical grade Ag/AgCl electrodes, leading to better signal quality while also improving patient comfort.
Researchers are now looking for partners to implement a co-development plan and license this patent-pending technology.
Soft Printed Microelectronics Lab (https://spm.isr.uc.pt/)
Soft Machines Lab (http://sml.me.cmu.edu/)
Source images: Carnegie Mellon University