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Date: 10-04-14

ECG, accelerometer integrated e-patch for health monitoring

Holst Centre and imec have unveiled a prototype flexible health patch weighing just 10g integrating ultra-low power electronics and flexible electrode technology, it includes a 1-lead ECG, a tissue-contact impedance sensor and a 3D accelerometer. Data is processed and analyzed locally, and relevant information is transmitted via Bluetooth Smart (BLS). The Bluetooth Smart link provides a standardized communication channel to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Working with SHINKO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES CO., LTD, researchers from imec used SHINKO’s SiP technology to integrate all this functionality into a module measuring just 17.4 mm x 17.4 mm. This represents a PCB area reduction of 52% compared to previous generations of the module, as per imec. The module was then integrated into a flexible and stretchable patch designed by Holst Centre. The design combines system in foil technology with stretchable, integrated electrodes to create a lightweight patch that can be worn comfortably on the chest for extended periods. The module’s small size and the flexibility of the patch reduce motion artifacts and thus provide more accurate and reliable monitoring, as per imec.

“Our novel technology for packaging electronic devices uses a high-density organic substrate to reduce overall system size. Thanks to the experience we’ve gained in this joint initiative with imec and Holst Centre, SHINKO can accelerate the development of next-generation body area network (BAN) products,” said Tadashi Kodaira, corporate officer of SHINKO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.

“Comfortable, lightweight wearable systems for personal health monitoring are emerging, given their promise to better analyze patient’s physiological parameters. We are excited about working with SHINKO to successfully bring the technology closer to consumers’ needs,” said Chris Van Hoof, program director Wearable Healthcare at Holst Centre/imec.

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