Now, a skin patch to monitor your heart’s health

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2014 16:14 IST

Move on from smart watches — technology and research will take a step forward when you can wear a skin patch and monitor the health of your heart round the clock.

International researchers reported online last week in Nature Communications that they’ve created an ultrathin, five centimeter square flexible patch that when placed on the skin studies blood flow and reveals any change in the health of the heart.

The patch is 3,600 tiny “thermochromic” liquid crystal devices that change colour with the temperature.

“It is more like a ‘skin-like’, thin device — very much like a kid’s temporary transfer tattoo, but in which the colours change with temperature. The device can measure thermal profiles associated with blood flow through near surface arteries. This information can be connected to cardiovascular health. The device changes colour and can be monitored quantitatively using the camera on a cellphone,” John Rogers, one of the authors of the study told HT.

The systems combine pixelated arrays of thermochromic liquid crystals and wireless electronics in physical forms — modulus, elastic strain limit, thickness and thermal mass — that are matched to the epidermis, Rogers said.

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