Skin patch monitors heart health

John A. Rogers/University of Illinois

Skin patch monitors heart health

With the popularity of smart watches and fitness monitors, the revolution in wearable technology has only just begun. Next up may be “skin-like” diagnostics capable of monitoring the health of your heart. Researchers reported online last week in Nature Communications that they’ve created an ultrathin, 5-centimeter-square flexible patch (pictured) that when placed on the skin monitors blood flow underneath, which can reveal changes in heart health. The patch contains an array of 3600 tiny “thermochromic” liquid crystal devices that change color with the temperature. Imaging sensors and computer algorithms then translate the pattern of colors into a temperature profile (see above), and a health report. Because the patches can be worn 24/7, they could offer at-risk patients around-the-clock health monitoring.

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