First fully integrated wearable ultrasound system
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first fully integrated wearable ultrasound system capable of monitoring blood pressure and heart functions while in motion and transmitting data wirelessly. Previous soft ultrasonic sensors required tethering cables for data and power transmission, limiting mobility. However, the new wearable ultrasonic system-on-patch (USoP) includes a flexible control circuit that communicates with an ultrasound transducer array to collect and wirelessly transmit data. The system also incorporates machine learning to interpret the data and track subjects in motion.
The USoP allows continuous tracking of physiological signals from tissues as deep as 164 mm, enabling the measurement of central blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, and other physiological signals for up to 12 hours. This technology has the potential to evaluate cardiovascular function in motion, which can help identify abnormalities in blood pressure and cardiac output, particularly in cases of heart failure. For healthy individuals, the device can provide real-time measurements of cardiovascular responses to exercise, aiding in the development of personalized training plans.
The fully integrated USoP represents a significant advancement in wearable ultrasound technology, with both the wearable sensor and control electronics designed in wearable form factors. The device can wirelessly sense deep tissue vital signs, making it a potentially life-saving cardiovascular monitoring solution. Additionally, the USoP contributes to the development of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), as it connects to the Internet and wirelessly transmits physiological signals for analysis, computing, and professional diagnosis. The transformation brought about by this technology extends healthcare monitoring possibilities by making formerly stationary and portable devices stretchable and wearable.