Engineers have developed a new wearable technology, which could make cardiac health monitoring easier and could be used to estimate blood pressure.
Developed by engineers at the University of Texas in Austin, the graphene-based electro‐mechano‐acoustic cardiovascular (EMAC) sensing tattoo can perform synchronous electrocardiograph (ECG) and seismocardiograph (SCG) measurements and extract various cardiac time intervals including systolic time interval (STI). The device also includes 3D digital image correlation technology that is used to map chest vibrations in order to identify the best location on the chest to place the e-tattoo.
Although soft e-tattoos for ECG sensing are not new, other sensors, such as the SCG sensor, are still made from nonstretchable materials, making them bulky and uncomfortable to wear. As this new device is lightweight and stretchable, the developers say it can be placed over the heart for extended periods with little or no discomfort.
The engineers found the new device is also capable of continuous blood pressure estimation. They say the tattoo may also be useful in other medical settings where mechanoacoustic signatures are important, such as obstructive sleep apnoea or even potentially used for measuring systole during resting and exercise to diagnose coronary artery disease.
The engineers are reporting the technology in Advanced Science.