An ultrasonic patch that can be worn has been developed by scientists, and it is being heralded as a game-changer in medical imaging. Ultrasound is a powerful diagnostic technique that may be used to check organs, detect cancer, and even follow microbes. It does its mapping job by capturing the echoes of different types of tissues and fluids. But many ultrasound equipment aren’t transportable, and wearable ones either have trouble seeing details or can’t be used for long.
Researchers write in the July 29 issue of the journal Science that the novel patch, about the size of a postage stamp, may function continuously for up to 48 hours, even while the user is engaged in physical activity like exercise. He said that his team is working on making the patch wireless and smartphone-interface so that ultrasound waves may be shown as three-dimensional visuals.
They are sure that their product is superior to other portable ones on the market. The patches were used to monitor the shape of people’s hearts during activity, the size of their stomachs as they consumed and passed liquids, and the amount of microdamage their muscles sustained during weightlifting.
To use the stickers with the existing setup, they must be linked to instruments that convert the reflecting sound waves into visuals. The researchers note that even in their present state, the stickers have potential applications: Such devices might be used to continually photograph internal organs without the need for a technician to keep a probe in place, and they could be placed to patients in hospitals in a manner similar to that of heart-monitoring EKG stickers.
Ultrasound stickers may be developed into wearable imaging goods that patients may bring home from a doctor’s office or even purchase from a drugstore if the gadgets could be made to function wirelessly, a goal toward which the team is now working.