Researchers at Monash University have made a groundbreaking development in healthcare with the creation of an ultra-thin skin patch embedded with nanotechnology. This innovative patch, capable of monitoring 11 essential human health signals, combines the fields of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to bring us closer to seamless communication between machines and the human body.

Utilizing specialized algorithms and personalized artificial intelligence (AI) technology, this pioneering research, recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, enables the disentanglement and comprehension of multiple body signals. The AI technology is now able to analyze these signals and make informed decisions on the necessary course of action.

This breakthrough has far-reaching implications, potentially transforming the delivery of remote healthcare and paving the way for future personal alarms and communication devices. Designed to be worn on the neck, the ultra-thin wearable patch consists of three layers, measuring speech, neck movement, touch, breathing, and heart rates. Professor Wenlong Cheng, the lead researcher, envisions the emerging soft electronics as wearable patches that mimic second skin, effectively monitoring vital human health indicators, contributing to the development of perception robotics, and bridging the gap between natural and artificial intelligence.

The Monash research team, including Associate Professor Zongyuan Ge from the Faculty of Information Technology, has developed an advanced frequency/amplitude-based neural network called Deep Hybrid-Spectro. This neural network can automatically monitor multiple biometrics from a single signal, marking a significant step forward in personalized healthcare. As individuals differ in their characteristics and behaviors, the next phase of the project involves programming and personalizing the sensors with even more sophisticated algorithms to tailor them to each individual’s unique needs.

The sensor itself is constructed using laminated cracked platinum film, vertically aligned gold nanowires, and a percolated gold nanowire film. The choice of the neck as the location for the patch is based on its sensitivity, as it is connected to five crucial physiological activities associated with the human throat: speech, heartbeats, breathing, touch, and neck movement.

This pioneering work from Monash University not only showcases the immense potential of nanotechnology and AI in healthcare but also paves the way for a future where personalized and remote healthcare becomes the norm. The ultra-thin skin patch, with its ability to monitor multiple health signals, promises to revolutionize the way we understand and manage our well-being, opening up new possibilities for enhanced healthcare delivery and communication between humans and machines.

By Impact Lab