Ultrasound is an effective way for physicians to see inside the body, but the machines are clunky and require a trip to the doctor's office or hospital. Now though, MIT researchers have demonstrated a small ultrasound sticker for your skin that produces a live, high-resolution ultrasound image. The sticker consists of two layers of an elastic material. Inside are the tiny transducers that generate and sense the sound waves that penetrate the body. along with a dollop of hydrogel, the gooey stuff that helps improve the signal transmission. From MIT News:
If the devices can be made to operate wirelessly — a goal the team is currently working toward — the ultrasound stickers could be made into wearable imaging products that patients could take home from a doctor's office or even buy at a pharmacy.
"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," says the study's senior author, Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT. "We believe we've opened a new era of wearable imaging: With a few patches on your body, you could see your internal organs."