Going to a medical facility for an ultrasound image is a great way to provide doctors with one snapshot of what’s going on inside the body, but a new stick-on patch can snap ultrasound images for up to two days, giving potentially much better insights.

The bioadhesive ultrasound (BAUS) device (“the patch”) features a stretchable ultrasound imaging array that could capture images from the heart, lung, blood vessels, or muscles and tendons. It is currently connected to another device that will interpret the ultrasound signals into 2D images.

However, the patch allows doctors to watch how tissues react while the patient is in motion, which would be extremely valuable for the heart and muscles. In the future, the patch could, in theory, become wireless, further facilitating overall utilization.

Monitoring an area for long periods is extremely useful because some internal organ issues might only appear under specific conditions (like physical stress) that are not met during a traditional one-time imaging event.

The cited 48 hours of continuous imaging is due to how long the patch can remain on the skin without being uncomfortable (glue residue etc.) and not because of any electronics-related limitations.

The image resolution is probably not as good as the larger Ultrasound imaging devices, especially the fancy new 3D ones, but that should improve as well in time. If you want all the details about this technology, read the full paper.

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