Sensor that brings new era in heart monitoring

heart monitoring sensor
Researchers have developed a new type of wearable heart monitoring sensor that could greatly improve the accuracy of heart monitoring than before. Developed by Zhenan Bao, a professor of Stanford University, the paper-thin, stamp-sized heart monitoring sensor is made with flexible organic materials & can be worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist to monitor the pulse.
To get this combination of reduced scale & high sensitivity, the research team used a thin middle layer of compressible rubber covered with tiny pyramid-shaped bumps only a few microns wide. If pressure is applied the pyramids deform slightly, which results in a calculable change in the electromagnetic field & the current flow in the device.
The degree of sensitivity achieved by the monitor means that when placed monitor on a patient’s wrist it can determine the two distinct peaks of the pulse wave as well as fluctuations, opening up the possibility for extremely detailed diagnostics. For example, you can use the ratio of the two peaks of the pulse wave to determine the stiffness of the artery.
This device offers obvious advantages in situations where the pulse needs to be monitored constantly, such as monitoring patients during surgery or athletes during sporting activity. For some patients with severe heart disease, wearing a bandage would allow them to measure their heart's condition constantly. This could easily be done without interfering with their daily life at all, since it simply requires wearing a small bandage. Once it has been calibrated, the signals of the pulse can be used as an alternative to intravascular catheters for measuring blood pressure. Further, a number of these sensors on a prosthetic limb could be used as a kind of electronic skin with an artificial sense of touch.
The research team’s next target with this heart monitoring sensor is to fit the device with wireless connection that would allow doctors to get continuous updates about a patient’s heart via smartphone.
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