State-of-the-art health device developed at UI

By Gary Brode |

Published 04/14 2014 12:26PM

Updated 04/14 2014 12:30PM

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- There's a state-of-the-art invention at UI. It's a health monitor about the size of a quarter. It goes right on the skin and could change the health industry. WCIA-3's Gary Brode shows us what's happening in Your Health this week.

"The device is sort of mechanically-matched to the skin."

It looks like a temporary tattoo, but it's much more. In fact, it could change the health and fitness industry.

"Devices that would get rid of all the wire and tapes and the electrodes that are currently poking all over the place on one's body during the monitoring phase when at the hospital."

It's called epidermal electronics and measures health statistics like temperatures, muscle use and heart rates.

"Monitor continuously during daily activity, in life events, as you go through the day to store that data and give that data to healthcare professionals to pick up early signs of health problems."

UI professor John Rogers and his staff have been working on the project for more than four years.

"This is a milestone for is because it brings these skin-type devices, these epidermal electronic systems into alignment with commercial off-the-shelf parts. And, I think that's really important from a cost standpoint and getting out to the real world."

The parts to make the chip cost only a couple dollars, and soon enough, Rogers expects to see it on the market.

"I think it will really reshape the way people are thinking about electronics and allow it to be used in a much more sophisticated way than just a gadget or game system. It's something that's going to impact human health."

Rogers hopes the skin chip will be on shelves in about two years. He believes the product could cost as little as $20 - 30.

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