Currently, ultrasound imaging necessitates using large, specialized equipment only available in hospitals and doctor’s offices. On the other hand, a new design could make the technology as wearable and accessible as buying Band-Aids at the pharmacy. A new ultrasound sticker, the size of a stamp, adheres to the skin and can provide continuous ultrasound imaging of internal organs for 48 hours.
The researchers applied the ultrasound stickers to volunteers, and the devices produced live, high-resolution images of major blood vessels and deeper organs such as the heart, lungs, and stomach. The stickers stayed put, and recorded changes in underlying organs as volunteers did various activities like sitting, standing, jogging, and biking.
According to the current design, connecting the stickers to instruments that convert the reflected sound waves into images is essential. The team is currently working on making the devices operate wirelessly. It could transform the ultrasound stickers into wearable imaging products that patients could take home from a doctor’s office or even purchase at a pharmacy.
The researchers envision a few patches attached to various body parts and the patches communicating with your smartphone, where AI algorithms would analyze images on demand. You could see your internal organs with a few patches on your body.