Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created ultrasound stickers that are able to provide continuous ultrasound imaging of internal organs for up to 48 hours. The stamp-sized stickers have the ability to stick to an individual’s skin and could potentially become a common wearable device for many in the future.
The engineers tested the devices capabilities and adhesion levels, scanning blood vessels, the heart, lungs and stomach. Several different activity states were measured, including jogging, standing, sitting and biking, putting the capabilities of the device to the test. Results showed that the stickers performed well in each varying activity state, and managed to monitor each target area well. However, while their current design requires connection to medical instruments, the researchers are already challenging themselves to create a wireless ‘wearable’ version.
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While engineers are still further developing the stickers, the current device already has several useful applications, and could be used in medical settings and would allow for continuous monitoring of internal organs without a technician having to hold a probe in place for extended periods of time.
Now, the engineers are working on making the device wireless, so patients will be able to wear the stickers from the comfort of their own home, or when they are out and about. Already, use of wearable devices in the medical field is growing, with the wearable device market as a whole being predicted to reach a value of $1 billion by 2022.