Researchers develop first flexible wearable monitoring biochemical and electric signals
Researchers at the University of California San Diego claim to have put together the first flexible wearable device capable of monitoring both biochemical and electric signals.
The Chem-Phys patch represents a breakthrough in the healthcare wearables space and provides real time recording of electrocardiogram (EKG) heart signals and levels of lactate, a biochemical marker of physical effort.
Nanoengineers and electrical engineers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors collaborated on the development of the device, which includes a flexible suite of sensors and a small electronic board. The device also can transmit the data from biochemical and electrical signals via Bluetooth. Worn on the chest, the device communicates wirelessly with a smartphone, smart watch or laptop. Applications range from athletes tracking their workouts to physicians monitoring patients with heart disease.
Nanoengineering professor Joseph Wang and electrical engineering professor Patrick Mercier at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering led the project, with Wang’s team working on the patch’s sensors and chemistry, while Mercier’s team worked on the electronics and data transmission.
Mercier said: “One of the overarching goals of our research is to build a wearable tricorder-like device that can measure simultaneously a whole suite of chemical, physical and electrophysiological signals continuously throughout the day. This research represents an important first step to show this may be possible.”
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