American researchers say the tiny patches, with tattoo-like sensors that wirelessly diagnose and treat health problems, can act as a person’s own internal doctor.
The “electronic skin” patches, about as a thick as a human hair, check a patient’s “vital signs” and transmits the data to a computer or mobile phone.
Scientists behind the project also say they could be used by healthy people to detect the early signs of illness.
The first patches, aimed at athletes, are expected to be available for commercial sale later this year.
The information then gets sent to the person’s doctor for further analysis, who can then act on any worrying conclusions.
They are made of a silicon membrane that stretches and moves with the body.
Sensors contained within the patches can measure heart rates and temperatures and monitor whether injured muscles are healing.
Patients who have been testing the sensors reportedly don’t feel them on their real skin.
Prof John Rogers, from the University of Illinois, detailed the development of “electronic skin” at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference in San Diego on Monday.
“The technology can be used to monitor brain, heart or muscle activity in a completely non invasive way, while a patient is at home,” he told the conference.
“The near term will be for people with conditions of the heart, or conditions such as diabetes that need a lot of monitoring.
“But the bigger area of application is to pick up early signs of disease.”
via The ‘electronic skin’ patches that can tell when you’re ill – Telegraph.