Electronic Tattoos…the first thing that came into my mind was the gang of modern bikers with iridescent tattoos on their biceps. Well, here we are not talking about that glow of electronic tattoos and neon crucifixes, instead the next wearable trend that could save your life someday. It is about the amazing technology, that can become a staple of modern medical care. Yes! Tattoos that can read your vital signs.
Electronic tattoos are thin circuitry-filled stickers that can firmly stick to your skin just like those child’s temporary tattoos from bubblegum wrappers. But, they talk electronics. They turn your skin into a screen. They are epidermal electronics, thin and flexible silicon patches that adhere to your skin and listens to your internal organs, transfers the data out to an external device that physicians can read. Amazing isn’t it? These aren’t just cool, but a complete game changer in healthcare.
The benefits electronics tattoos offer in the field of medicine are unlimited. These epidermal electronics can prod and probe any corner of the human body with technological precision. They are the future of human monitoring and can measure a variety of physiological functions – data from the brain, muscles and heart. They may be used to help heal any wounds; even deliver drugs directly to cancer cells before dissolving as if they were never there. They could act as active agents in rehabilitation. In the future, they will be used to monitor babies in the womb and beam infant vital signs right to the mother’s smartphone.
Wearable Interactive Stamp Platform, or WiSP that is how they are technically known. Electronic tattoo is a combination of advanced polymers and stretchable metal interconnects – as thin as a human hair with an antenna and thinned near-field communication chip mounted onto a stretchable silicon. They collect and send data through NFC (near field communication technology) enabled smartphones or readers into the cloud. The WiSP devices can complement sophisticated medical sensors, capture electrocardiograms and data in real time.
Real-time data collection and big data analysis of the data picked up from these patches will be useful to the doctors in treating the patients. Insights and information gathered from these wireless tattoos will help in early diagnosis of various diseases which will allow people to make proactive health choices and prevent future health problems.
The next generation of smart health technology promises enormous change. This next generation sensors embedded in tattoos which will have more accurate patient health records is finally taking us to the tipping point. They will revolutionize patient monitoring and change the future of healthcare. These epidermal electronics promises to change the game. These smart tattoos which sounds like a science fiction, will soon reshape the entire healthcare industry.