Tattoo-Like Electronic Skin Can Track Heart Rate, Blood Sugar


Patients may soon be free from the hassles of bulky wearable medical devices as a tattoo-like electronic skin that can track heart rate and blood sugar has just been invented.

Imagine turning a part of the body into a screen that displays important health data, paving the way for prompt medical action and enhanced care. That's how the future looks like with this new Japanese invention.

The said electronic skin is an extremely thin and super flexible film that measures less than two micrometers thick. The product resembles a plastic wrap, which functions way more than just a protective covering.

Focus On Health

The electronic skin has an air-stable and organic light-emitting diode that make it perfect for an array of applications in the fields of health and fitness.

For one, the electronic skin may be used to measure the heart rate of individuals, especially athletes and patients with a critical need for continuous monitoring.

Diabetic patients may also break free from the hassles of testings as it may also detect blood sugar levels. This is particularly helpful for those who constantly have erratic blood sugar levels.

Doctors may also obtain help from this device as they do not need to apply and remove bulky medical equipment such as cardiac monitor when assessing their patients. It provides comfort and lessens the hassles of already ailing patients.

People without specific diseases may also find the electronic skin a useful tool. Health buffs or those who are plainly conscious of their internal bodily measurements such as pulse rate and blood oxygen levels may also get vital information from this device.

Doctors and the medical industry have long been waiting for this type of technology — one that is flexible and able to move with the body while delivering accurate bodily measurements.

Other Uses

The medical industry is not the only one to possibly reap benefits from electronic skin.

Engineers may also put down their bulky devices when doing maintenance repairs and just look at their "electronic skin" to see maintenance procedures.

"For industrial applications, it is important to fabricate wearable devices using processing methods that maximize throughput and minimize cost," the authors write.

On a lighter note, electronic skin may also satisfy those with modern outlook on fashion and the arts. Who knows, maybe electronic photo tattoos will be the next trend.

In the past, scientists were baffled as to how they can make flexible wearable devices survive natural damages of daily use. Air and moisture were among the most common hindrances.

The good news is, the inventors of this new electronic skin device were able to incorporate alternating organic and inorganic layers that will help block moisture and rid corrosive substances, making it efficient and intact with every use.

The study was published in the journal Science Advances on April 15.

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