These tiny skin patches aren’t aimed squarely at a-fib, but they’re still important developments. That’s because a stick-on health patch developed by engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University could monitor EKG and EEG data.
The patch is skin-thin and unobtrusive. It uses wireless data to send information back to a doctor’s computer in real time.
The researchers did a side-by-side comparison with traditional EKG and EEG monitors and found the wireless patch performed equally to conventional sensors, while being significantly more comfortable for patients. Such a distinction is crucial for long-term monitoring, situations such as stress tests or sleep studies when the outcome depends on the patient’s ability to move and behave naturally, or for patients with fragile skin such as premature newborns.
I think of all of the sort of wearable, at-home, long-lasting devices I’ve seen I like this one to best. The implantable heart monitor requires surgery, after all: this one doesn’t. And there’s something about trusting my health to an iPhone or an Android that just doesn’t seem right to me, unless it’s being used for a small screening to alert people that they should visit the doctor, such as the screenings I covered on Wednesday.
There’s nothing bulky, embarrassing, or uncomfortable about it, which I really like.
I look forward to seeing whether or not these devices are accepted into long-term use. What about you? Do you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts about the stick-on skin patch health monitoring device? If you do, please share it with me in the comments below.