Jump to content

Stick-on ultrasound patch hailed as revolution in medical imaging

A stick-on patch that can take an ultrasound scan of a person’s insides as they go about their daily life has been hailed as a revolution in medical imaging.

The wearable patch, which is the size of a postage stamp, can image blood vessels, the digestive system and internal organs for up to 48 hours, giving doctors a more detailed picture of a patient’s health than the snapshots provided by routine scans.

In laboratory tests, researchers used the patches to watch people’s hearts change shape during exercise, their stomachs expand and shrink as they drank and passed drinks, and their muscles pick up microdamage when weightlifting.

Prof Xuanhe Zhao at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the research team, said the patches could “revolutionise” medical imaging because existing scans are very brief, sometimes lasting only seconds, and usually have to be performed in hospitals.

Ultrasound scans are extremely common, with NHS England performing more than 8m last year. But the technique has major limitations, requiring highly trained sonographers to place and orient the probes on patients’ bodies to get high-quality images. For this reason, most ultrasound scans are brief and performed on patients who are required to keep still while the images are taken.

Wireless patches could sidestep some of these problems, as they can be fixed in position and left to take images for hours, and even days, at a time, the researchers say. Beyond scanning organs for early signs of disease, the “set and forget” patches could monitor bladder function, tumours, and the development of foetuses in the womb.

Read full story

Source: The Guardian, 28 July 2022


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...