Continuous biometric monitoring provides more valuable data than single readings, but concerns about patient comfort and convenience must be considered. Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology‘s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering developed a soft, conformable wireless wearable monitor with stretchable electronics that is comfortable and appropriate for long-term health monitoring.

The stretchable monitor can broadcast electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, and respiratory rate to a remote portable recording device. Because the monitor moves with the skin, it also provides valuable information about patient motion. According to the researchers, the monitor’s waterproof soft elastomer medical film does not require an adhesive conductive gel. Conductive gels can cause allergic reactions and adhesives can injure sensitive skin.

The Georgia Tech engineers published a paper that describes the details of the soft, conformable monitor in the journal Advanced Science. Next steps in the technology’s development include reducing the wearable’s size and augmenting the capabilities to include metrics such as temperature, blood oxygen, and blood pressure. Eventually, the team looks forward to a clinical trial to compare the wearable monitor’s performance with conventional technology.