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Medical Tattoo Could Monitor Heart Rate & Brain Signals via Epidermal Electronics

Some find them unsightly and grotesque, while others find them an art form, but whichever way you look at them a tattoo might help save your life one day – or so believes Dr John Rogers of the University of Illinois who gave his opinions on “epidermal electronics” to the American Chemical Society board at a meeting in April.

The physical chemistry expert believes that medical institutes could soon utilise a type of patch, applied like one of those temporary transfers from our childhood, which would be peeled from a backing strip and placed on the surface of our skin and through minute and colourful electronic circuits this waterproof “tattoo” can be used to record the body’s all important signals such as a patient’s heart rate, brain activity and other vital signs. Using a type of flexible silicon the patch would feel like a second skin to the wearer and could be worn for several days. Unlike the traditional bulky electrodes, and more like an actual tattoo, a patient wouldn’t even feel that the patch was there.

This is a far more appealing and useful implementation of “tattoo tech” than the one Nokia recently proposed. The Finnish proposed covering ourselves with vibrating ink, which would react to a Bluetooth signal when we receive a call or text. The patent was not well received to say the least and the plan was slammed by peers as the worst idea in technology by important industry peers!

Remember kids – Think before you Ink!

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