The last few years have seen a number of flexible, electronic skin patch concepts for things like administering medicine or monitoring health conditions, but the latest version from researchers at the University of Tokyo adds an LED display to the mix. The ultrathin patch is made from flexible, breathable material, and can both measure and display a wearer’s heartbeat in realtime.
By using nanomesh electrodes and stretchable wiring, the patch features a micro LED array that can bend with the skin and display simple, animated imagery, such as an electrocardiogram waveform. The idea is for the patch not only to project health information to the wearer, but also let other people know what’s wrong in an emergency.
Also impressive is the fact that the sensor can pair with a smartphone for storing the biometric data and even transmitting it to the cloud. The researchers envision the patch as a non-invasive health monitoring system for the elderly or home-bound, with healthcare officials able to remotely monitor a wearer’s condition.
The patch can be stretched to a maximum of 45% of its original length, and it’s designed to be much more resistant to wear and tear than previous skin displays. The University of Tokyo and Japan’s Dai Nippon Printing hope to begin mass producing the patch within the next three years, with improved reliability and the ability to cover larger areas.