Tattoo circuit boards are now one step closer to reality with the development of this stick-on, flexible circuit board. All the electronics are integrated into a stretchy and pliable base that can be stuck on to the skin anywhere and used to comfortably monitor health conditions wirelessly. Eventually, this wearable electronic board, developed by John A. Rogers, a University of Illinois professor, and Yonggang Huang, a Northwestern University professor, could be used to build incredibly cheap telephones and wearable technology.

The stick-on circuit board was developed by a group of engineers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University and led by John A. Rogers, who is also the co-founder of MC10, a unique company leading the charge in advanced wearable technology. The group has already proven that wearable skin electronics are possible and eventually sees integrating telephone and mobile devices as the way of the future. This latest device though was built with health monitoring in mind to track heart rate, respiration and more.

RELATED | World’s First Electronic Fingertip Paves Way for “Smart” Surgical Gloves

Made with flexible origami-shaped wires, off-the-shelf electronics components and a fluid-filled envelope, the electronic patch monitors your body and wirelessly reports that data back to your smart device. Flexible and comfortable, the patch can be worn 24/7 and with the help of wireless charging, doesn’t need to be taken off for more battery life.

RELATED | Motorola Plans Electronic Throat “Tattoo” That Improves Wireless Communication

So far the engineers have used it to monitor EKG and EEG readings and compared to traditional wire-connected monitors, the device performed on par with them. Not only are the devices lower in cost, they are much more likely to be used by the patient, who doesn’t have to battle with bulky wires.

“The application of stretchable electronics to medicine has a lot of potential,” partnering researcher Yonggang Huang said. “If we can continuously monitor our health with a comfortable, small device that attaches to our skin, it could be possible to catch health conditions before experiencing pain, discomfort and illness.”

+ Press Release

+ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

[Via Fast Co.Design]