An electronic epidermal sticker that monitors health has been patented by researchers and it can be easily applied to a patient’s wrist. A team at Purdue University has designed the 2cm advanced sticker solution, which moves healthcare one step closer to the concept of personalised care and wearable devices.
Wearable devices keep growing in popularity, from measuring UV exposure, to making off-site work safer and even soothing the effects of diabetes, and they seem to be integrated into many different sectors and markets.
The stickers that monitor health are made of cellulose, which is both biocompatible and breathable, and they are used to monitor physical activity and alert a wearer about possible health risks in real-time. Since paper degrades fast when it gets wet and human skin is prone to be covered in sweat, these wearable stickers were coated with molecules that repel water, oil, dust and bacteria.
Each sticker costs about 5p to produce, and can be made using printing and manufacturing technologies reportedly similar to those used to print books. Patterned in serpentine shapes to make the devices as thin and stretchable as skin, the stickers are comfortable to be worn.
The low cost of these wearable devices and their compatibility with large-scale manufacturing techniques, could enable the quick adoption of these new wearable sensors in a variety of healthcare applications.
The concept of personalised medicine is nothing new and experts have been working to personalise care to individuals’ needs for a while now. However, never before has it been possible to predict, examine and identify a patient’s requirements as extensively as is possible today.
Experts can now carry out whole genome sequencing, use data and informatics and exploit wearable technology to cater to specific people. Personalised medicine moves away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach to one that uses new methods to better manage individual health.
Embedding a personalised medicine approach into mainstream healthcare is the journey experts, scientists and healthcare professionals are broaching