The Chem-Phys patch monitors both biochemical and electric signals in the human body at the same time — a first
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first flexible wearable device capable of monitoring both biochemical and electric signals in the human body. The Chem-Phys patch records electrocardiogram (EKG) heart signals and tracks levels of lactate, a biochemical that is a marker of physical effort, in real time. The device can be worn on the chest and communicates wirelessly with a smartphone, smart watch or laptop. It could have a wide range of applications, from athletes monitoring their workouts to physicians monitoring patients with heart disease.
Nanoengineers and electrical engineers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors worked together to build 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.
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. They describe the Chem-Phys patch in the May 23 issue of Nature Communications.
“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,” Mercier said. “This research represents an important first step to show this may be possible.”
V-Sense Medical’s device can measure your vital signs—from a distance
When Jeff Nosanov’s baby was born and ended up in intensive care, something scary happened: the tiny vital sign monitors attached to his son kept falling off, over and over. Each time, all of the baby’s stats—like whether he was safely breathing—disappeared.
Two years later, his new baby daughter also spent time in the hospital, and the same thing happened. It’s a common problem with squirmy infants. But this time Nosanov, who was working at NASA, realized that he might be able to do something to help.
At NASA, Nosanov was working with new technology designed to find people in a disaster by using radar to measure breathing and heart rate from a distance. He realized that a similar device could be used in hospitals, or at home, to track health in babies or adults, and send instant alerts if there was a problem.