A team of engineers at the University of Texas at Austin developed a new technology that can monitor heart health. The leading cause of death in Texas was attributed to heart disease according to new research conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. A statewide study indicated 45,000 deaths in 2017.
The team of scientists invented a wearable technology made from stretchy, lightweight material with the accuracy of electrocardiograph machines. The newly developed technology termed as e-tattoo can be placed on the skin and can measure various body responses, ranging from electrical to biomechanical.
Moreover, keeping up with its function of a tattoo, the machine is lightweight and stretchable which can thus be placed on the heart over a long period of time without the anticipated discomfort. The innovative technology is capable of measuring heart health in two ways; through electrocardiograph (ECG) as well as through seismocardiograph (SCG) readings. In this way, the soft e-tattoo becomes the first ultrathin technology to measure both ECG and SCG simultaneously. According to experts, ECG readings alone can sometimes be insufficient, along with SCG, they tend to be more accurate.
Moreover, Lu, an associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Engineering Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering adds, “We can get much greater insight into heart health by the synchronous collection of data from both sources.”
Furthermore, the device includes 3D digital image correlation technology which can map vibrations. This feature helps to locate the most appropriate place for examination on the chest. Apart from being portable, comfortable and accurate, the tattoo saves an appointment with the doctor, which is usually necessary for an ECG measurement. Moreover, the device can be tattooed on the body for days for health monitoring.
The study based on the newest e-tattoo was published in the journal Advanced Science. The research team is allegedly working on data collection and storage improvements; in addition to innovative mechanisms to power the e-tattoo wirelessly for a longer duration. Reports also suggest of development of a smartphone app which can be used to store data safely and is also capable of showing heartbeats on the screen.