This Intelligent Patch Automatically Applies Meds
Taking medicines is something to be taken very seriously and, depending on the diagnosed pathology, medicines are ingested or applied with a given periodicity, depending on how long each dose acts. Usually the patients get the responsibility to medicate themselves according to the doctor's instructions, but sometimes people forget to take the right does at the right times, which can be harmful for the treatment.
In order to solve this issue, a team of South Korean researchers has published an article demonstrating how a multifunctional wearable, an electronic device in this case, can be utilized for diagnostic and therapy of some kinds of pathologies.
The system they propose consists in three parts: physiological sensors, non-volatile memory and medicine dispensers. There are continuum medicine dispensers already being used, but they do not interact with the patient - they always apply the same amount of medicine, regardless the status of the patient.
So, what is new with this smart patch is how it controls all the process by analyzing the informations gathered by its sensory system, with the huge advantages of being non-invasive and very small. It has a length of 5 centimeters, it is flexible and built with nanomaterials. Specifically, some silica nanoparticles that are heat sensitive and capable of monitoring muscular activity and dispensing the needed medication.
This system is still a bit limited on the sensory level, but has already important applications that can be helpful for patients with Parkinson disease: as soon as the patch senses tremors with a specific intensity, it can release the appropriate amount of the medicine.
Even though this a "wearable" device, it is still not possible to remotely control it, but it is planed that, in a near future, it will feature network components that will allow long-distance interaction. It will take at least 5 years until this patch reaches the market, but nevertheless it can be a revolution to the way patients are treated.
Diogo Costa • International Innovations