Forget Fitness Trackers. Welcome Fitness Patches

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Engineers have developed a wirelessly powered stick-on microchip that monitors your heart stats and sends the information to your phone or computer.

The idea behind the chip is to monitor human health 24/7, but without interfering with a person’s daily activity,” said Yonggang Huang, the Northwestern University professor who co-led the work together with John Rodgers.

Engineers compared the chip against conventional EKG and EEG monitors. Results show that the wireless patch performed as well as the conventional devices, but was found to be more comfortable to wear.

The patch stretches and moves with your skin as you exercise thanks to its electronic structure, which folds in an origami like manner as the chip bends. The patch sticks onto your skin similar to a temporary tattoo.

The stick on nature of the chip may hold an additional advantage. “When you measure motion on a wristwatch type device, your body is not very accurately or reliably coupled to the device,” said Rogers.

The engineers hope that the device will lead to an integrated sensing system that not only monitors your health, but also helps to detect problems that the user may currently be unaware of.

Rodgers hopes that by analysing data given by such chips, the motions associated with Parkinson’s disease could be picked up at its onset.


Information taken from materials provided on the Northwestern University Website.

The original article was written by Liz Ahlberg. Photo by John A. Rodgers.