Engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology‘s (GA Tech) George W. Woodruff School of IEN Center for Human-Centric Interfaces and Engineering are developing a method to screen-print circuit boards and sensors for home health monitoring. The team is developing technology for cost-effective, large-scale circuit board and sensor production. The goals is to make home home health sensors accessible and affordable for all heart patients.

The sudden death of his father from undetected heart disease drives Associate Professor W. Hong Yeo, the team leader and Director the IEN Center. Yeo led development of a portable heart monitoring device that uses soft wireless sensors. The guiding principle is to create an affordable heart monitor that is comfortable and doesn’t restrict patient movements. The design is ripe for remote monitoring applications for patients who remain in their own homes. The IEN team continues to work on screen printing methodology suitable for mass production of the circuit boards and sensors.

Yeo’s group is tackling other digital health challenges in addition to heart monitoring. The team has developed a sleep monitor that uses soft sensors embedded in stickers placed on a patient’s chest or forehead. Another IEN project is a brain-machine interface that employs soft sensors that are covered with microneedles to maximize contact with the scalp without using invasive implants. Yet another project by Yeo’s team is a smart stent that monitors the heart with an embedded sensor and antenna that does not require separate circuits and batteries. The smart stent transmits signals via Bluetooth wireless to a smartphone- or tablet-based monitoring app for real time updates on the stent’s performance.

Yeo and his group continue developing real world solutions to medical problems using soft sensor technologies. They are also creating a startup to commercialize the soft-sensor devices to speed up the processor of getting the products to market so that they can help large numbers of people.