MIT Engineers Create New Wearable Ultrasound Sticker

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
A healthcare worker examining imaging on a computer screen.
Unsplash | Irwan iwe

The latest in medical innovations is here, and it might make getting a pesky scan or an x-ray way, way easier.

A team from MIT has developed a device similar to a small sticker, but it can take high-resolution imaging photos of one's blood vessels and internal organs. They're hoping to develop this further and try to get it working as a wearable monitoring device for certain illnesses.

A team of engineers has just changed how we conduct ultrasounds.

A radiologist examining imaging done by a CT scanner.
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the group has created a stamp-sized sticker of sorts that can provide live, high-resolution ultrasound images of things like blood vessels and internal organs.

The device is worn on the skin.

Someone's arm with small strips of yellow tape stuck to it.
Unsplash | engin akyurt

It can provide these live images for 48 continuous hours, just by sticking it on your body.

They're hoping this sort of tech could lead to wearable monitoring devices for a variety of diseases, conditions, and cancers.

They're already looking well into the future for this device.

A healthcare worker examining imaging on a computer screen.
Unsplash | Irwan iwe

Senior author of the study and professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT, Xuanhe Zhao, told MIT News Office, "We imagine we could have a box of stickers, each designed to image a different location of the body."

"We believe this represents a breakthrough in wearable devices and medical imaging."

The current model isn't exactly wireless.

A very small microchip.
Unsplash | Brian Kostiuk

To produce the images, it has to be connected to a transducer. However, creating a totally independent, wireless version is next on their list of priorities so patients can wear them in their homes.

They're even hoping for Bluetooth connectivity.

Doctors examining x-ray imaging.
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

"We envision a few patches adhered to different locations on the body, and the patches would communicate with your cellphone, where AI algorithms would analyze the images on demand,"  Zhao explained, "We believe we've opened a new era of wearable imaging: With a few patches on your body, you could see your internal organs."

h/t: Insider