Annual Physical in a Patch: GE Scientists Developing Wearable Multi-Device Sensor Patch that Measures Sweat, Interstitial Fluids and other Key Vitals
- New platform to build upon recent, successful field trials with GE’s sweat sensor patch, which measures hydration levels
- GE Research tapping a broader multidisciplinary team to develop and integrate new sensing capabilities that can measure similar types of health parameters doctors analyze for a patient’s annual physical
- Binghamton University, with New York State’s Empire State Development and NextFlex, rapidly expanding New York State’s footprint in flexible electronics R&D
NISKAYUNA, NY -- Thursday, September 5, 2019 – What if your future annual physical simply involved wearing a disposable band-aid like patch? GE scientists, partnering with NextFlex and Binghamton University are developing a wearable multi-device sensor patch that could one day make that possible.
The GE Research project team unveiled their plans before 300 attendees during the 31st Annual Electronics Packaging Symposium being held at GE Research. The Symposium is being co-hosted by GE Research, Binghamton University’s Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) and the IEEE Electronics Packaging Society (EPS) at GE’s Research campus in Upstate New York.
“Our new wearable multi-device sensor patch will redefine the meaning of a doctor ‘patching you up,’” Azar Alizadeh, Principal Scientist at GE Research and project leader of this new wearable sensing platform. “In the future, a doctor could capture all your vitals, key biochemical markers and other important health indicators in a single patch. Your annual checkout could turn into a daily or weekly one, which allows doctors and patients to more closely monitor their health.”
Alizadeh added, “We expect to have a prototype of a new wearable patch ready for testing later this fall that can measure heart rate, respiration rate, temperature and other vitals. Separately, we also have begun work on an interstitial fluid patch to examine the body’s bio-chemistry. This would check many of the boxes doctors cover when conducting an annual physical on patients.”
Alizadeh explained that examining interstitial fluids would allow for analysis of cortisol, lactate and other substances doctors commonly look at to assess a patient’s health. The newer wearable projects will build upon successful field trials of GE’s sweat sensor patch that Alizadeh and the GE Research team recently completed with Air Force cadets in partnership with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL); NextFlex, the US federal government’s manufacturing innovation hub for flexible hybrid electronics; the Center of Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM), the NextFlex New York Node at Binghamton University; and New York State’s Empire State Development. The sweat sensor patch is being demonstrated during the Electronics Symposium.
Alizadeh added, “As we work on our new wearable sensing platforms, we’re about to start new field trials with our existing sweat sensor patch with recreational student athletes at the University of Connecticut. This has truly been a team effort that is made possible through the strong support and participation of Binghamton, Empire State Development and NextFlex.”
Mark D. Poliks, project co-PI, professor of engineering and director of the CAMM at Binghamton University said that “CAMM serves as NextFlex’s New York Node to promote flexible electronics developments across New York State. The center also was recently designated by NYSTAR as a Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in for flexible hybrid medical device manufacturing, which will enable us to expand New York’s support of new R&D advancements in flexible electronics for medical and industrial applications.”
"Binghamton, as the NY Node of NextFlex, continues to play a crucial role in advancing flexible electronics manufacturing, and we are able to carry out this important work because of the support we receive from New York State as well as the strong partnerships we have with industry," said Bahgat Sammakia, vice president for research, Binghamton University. "We are excited about the flexible hybrid electronics technology being created by companies like GE Research in partnership with Binghamton. The devices being demonstrated at the Electronics Packaging Symposium may one day disrupt healthcare in a positive way. We are proud of the role we are able to play in the development of these products and look forward to continuing our R&D work in this area under the leadership of Mark Poliks."
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, “This wearable device, developed through the NextFlex Consortium, is a potentially life-saving example of how the state’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative investments support innovative public-private partnerships in the Southern Tier. Binghamton University’s leadership of the New York node of this national initiative helps the university, and industry partners like GE, leverage their collective strengths to lead the way in commercializing cutting-edge research.”
“The collaborative and creative work being done by GE Research, Binghamton University, New York State’s Empire State Development and NextFlex exemplifies the best of a public-private partnership, and the progress made on the sweat patch is achieving a new vision for patient care in the future,” said Malcolm Thompson, Executive Director of NextFlex. “We are pleased to support the Flexible Hybrid Electronics community that is dedicated to transforming how we live, work and play.”
About the Electronics Packaging Symposium
GE Research and Binghamton University have been jointly hosting the Electronics Packaging Symposium for 31 years. The annual event brings together top leaders and experts from industry, academia and government to discuss the latest advances in electronics packaging. This year’s big topics being covered include: Bioelectronics, 5G packaging technologies, MEMS, wearables for medical applications and additive for electronics.
For more information about the Symposium, visit the event website at https://bit.ly/2KpyxF0.
About GE Research
GE Research is GE’s innovation powerhouse where research meets reality. We are a world-class team of scientific, engineering and marketing minds working at the intersection of physics and markets, physical and digital technologies, and across a broad set of industries to deliver world-changing innovations and capabilities for our customers. To learn more, visit our website at https://www.ge.com/research/.
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