will create an open technology platform for the next generation
of smart ultra-sound body patches for applications ranging from
bladder monitoring to wound healing
Smart ultra-sound body patches | Objectives | Impact
Until now, body patches exclusively monitored body parameters that are available on the surface of the skin, such as: temperature, humidity, pH, oxygen saturation and electric potentials. The ultra-sound patch platform that will be developed in ULIMPIA, will additionally be able to probe physical processes going on deep inside the body.
Europe traditionally has a very strong position in ultra-sound diagnostics. ULIMPIA will be instrumental in consolidating and extending that position. Sixty years after its first introduction into the professional medical domain, ultra-sound diagnostics is now ready to enter the consumer market space. The open platform will open new markets and generate new products. Finally, the entrance into the consumer market will generate the production volumes necessary to fuel further innovations in MEMS ultra-sound technology, allowing Europe to maintain its leading role in professional ultra-sound diagnostics.
From a societal perspective, continuous body monitoring with devices that can be worn unobtrusively on the body and that continuously monitor vital body parameters will allow elderly and sick people to remain longer in their home environment, thereby reducing hospitalisation and consequently the cost of healthcare. An imaginative example are smart plasters and bandages that monitor the condition of chronic wounds in especially diabetes patients, and that, instead of requiring continuous and painful checking by a nurse, give a signal when a bandage needs to be replaced.
In ULIMPIA state-of-the-art MEMS ultra-sound technology will be combined with innovations in conformably patch technology to create an open technology platform for diagnostic ultra-sound patches.
A large European consortium consisting of 18 partners in 6 countries will develop the necessary technological building blocks including: a programmable universal ultra-sound engine, conformable patch technologies and functional adhesive and bio-compatible materials. The resultant open platform will be accessible to multiple users allowing them to concentrate on the development of applications, rather than on the development of technological point solutions. This is highlighted by the demonstrators in the project that e.g.: monitor the bladder, measure blood pressure, monitor wounds underneath bandages, and measure the perfusion in blood vessels.