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    Wireless skin sensors could check your vital signs and monitor your health.

    Anil Duggal has always had a knack for invention – the GE Global Research chief scientist has 98 U.S. patents to his name. Now, with the support of his colleagues Jeff Ashe and Azar Alizadeh, Duggal is on the verge of turning years of abandoned research into what might be the world’s most advanced skin-surface medical sensors.

    The slim, wireless devices, which GE is developing with the support of the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, stick to the wrist like Band-Aids. They remotely analyze sweat, check vital signs and even keep track of patients’ medical progress after treatment. “This will really improve patient experience and get doctors better data about patients,” Duggal says.

    The sensors will also be able to track heart rate, blood pressure and blood-oxygen saturation levels, and potentially make EKG go wireless. You could wear GE’s sensors under a business suit and allow your doctor to check your heart activity while you work in the office or play at home.

    The story of this project starts miles from any medical research lab. To power these sensors, Duggal and team resurrected a moon-shot idea that never quite reached orbit: organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

    OLEDs were once the next big thing in lighting for GE. They glow when electricity flows through specialized organic polymers and could be embedded in printed rolls of flexible sheets. Energy-efficient? Check. Pliable? Check. Innovative? And how. We’d leap beyond single-point bulb illumination in favor of glowing furniture, wallpaper or ceilings. The technology looked like it was going to revolutionize lighting.

    Click here to read the full story by Mark Egan on GE Reports.

     

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