Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a patch that tracks blood pressure, heart rate, glucose, and alcohol and caffeine.
It is the first wearable device that simultaneously monitors cardiovascular signals and multiple biochemical levels in the human body.
Such a device is intended, in particular, for people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, or a predisposition to severe COVID-19. It can also be used to detect sepsis, a sudden drop in blood pressure accompanied by an increase in lactate levels.
This patch will become an alternative for patients in intensive care units, for example, infants, who need constant monitoring of blood pressure and other vital signs.
These procedures currently take place only after the insertion of catheters, and patient indicators are monitored on several monitors.
The novelty here is that we take completely different sensors and combine them together on one small platform. We can collect so much information with this wearable device. And, importantly, this happens in a non-invasive way, without discomfort.
Joseph Wang, professor of nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego
A patch is a thin sheet of elastic polymers that adheres to the skin. It is equipped with a blood pressure sensor and two chemical sensors – one measures lactate (a biomarker of exercise), caffeine, and alcohol in sweat. The other measures glucose levels in interstitial fluid.