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Scientists made an E-Tattoo that monitors your heart & detects heart diseases in advance

eTattoo for monitoring heart

Researchers recently pioneered a E-tattoo that’s worn on the chest of a person, for uninterrupted monitoring of the heart for detecting heart diseases beforehand.

Medical innovations and diagnostic methods have increased in recent years, with technology assisting the progress. Likely as Apple Watch now saving lives by reading ECG from your wrist, and reporting of any heart abnormalities, smartness of the tech improved the way we monitor our health.

For a glimpse, a firm already is making “smart underwear” for measuring a bunch of health and wellness parameters including sleep quality, stress level, and so on.

In the aspect, e-tattoo is the latest yet revolutionary feat in the field of health-tech.

What is an E-Tattoo?

E-Tattoo that measures ECG & SCG

E-tattoos are electronic tattoos, a soft wearable device that equips sensors for tracking and transmitting the data wirelessly. A team led by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has developed an ultrathin, lightweight e-tattoo, that should be worn on the chest for continuous, wireless heart monitoring outside of a clinical setting.

The e-tattoo here, integrates two sensors that together provide a clear picture of heart health, facilitating clinicians a smooth way for detecting heart diseases ahead in time.

“Most heart conditions are not very obvious. The damage is being done in the background and we don’t even know it,” said Nanshu Lu, a professor in the Department of Aerospace and Engineering Mechanics and a lead author of the study. “If we can have continuous, mobile monitoring at home, then we can do early diagnosis and treatment, and if that can be done, 80% of heart disease can be prevented.”

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E-Tattoo for Heart Monitoring

The E-tattoo designed by the team is lightweight weighing only 2.5 grams and is ultra-thin measuring 200 µm, for providing a comfortable way of cardiac monitoring. It provides two key heart measurements – ECG (electrocardiogram), which is the electrical signal from the heart and SCG (seismocardiogram), which is the acoustic signal from the heart, the one that’s checked via stethoscope.

Ph.D. student Sarnab Bhattacharya (left) and Dr. Nanshu Lu (right) displaying the device.

As there doesn’t exist a mobile solution for measuring both ECG and SCG simultaneously, this e-tattoo will be the first of the kind to cater that. “Those two measurements, electrical and mechanical, together can provide a much more comprehensive and complete picture of what’s happening with the heart,” Lu said. Monitoring those two factors, and synchronizing them, makes it possible to measure cardiac time intervals, which are a major indicator of heart disease and other problems.

The tattoo is enabled by a series of small active circuits and sensors, arranged and linked by stretchable interconnections and conforms to the chest via a medical dressing. It runs on a battery at the size of a penny with more than 40 hours of battery-life and can easily be changed by the user.

You might be interested to read this: Google Wearables – From Watch to Tattoos

The researchers have already tested the device on five healthy patients in their day-to-day environments and the error rates in measurements were lower than currently available monitoring options. The study is published in Advanced Electronic Materials.

The team foresees for further testing and validating the results and expanding the use of e-tattoo to different types of patients.

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