The world of wearable technology is filled with all kinds of ways to keep an eye on your health. Sensors have been embedded into gloves. Sensors have been embedded into shoes. Sensors have even been embedded into futuristic nasal sprays. The one thing nobody has gotten a handle on, however, is embedding sensors in our actual skin. Well hold on to your porous layers, the future is coming at you faster than you can say acne break out.
Cambridge, Massachusetts start up MC10 is behind the commercialization of the stretchable skin, building on the lab prototypes created by University of Illinois scientist John Rogers, who is a company co-founder. Their version of this, well, skin relies on gold electrodes and other wires that are a few hundred nanometers thick. They are deposited in a serpentine fashion onto thin films of silicon wafers, then applied to the stretchable polymers. The wires act as sensors and pick up information about a patient’s health and can report to doctors on a more real-time basis. This, in theory, allows for a real- time intervention by a doctor before the patient even knows something bad is happening. Like big brother, but healthy!
This stretchable skin will also transmit the information to your smartphone, via a related app or by using NFC technology in front of the sensors. The company says they foresee all kinds of uses for this tech, including versions to detect heart problems, versions that read blood sugar, oxygenation and temperature and, down the line, a version that would warn of brain seizures.