This little patch may look like a waterproof plaster, but it’s much more intelligent than that. Its gold-and-graphene circuitry is capable of keeping an eye on your pH, temperature and glucose levels. Then it punches you with micro-needles to inject a dose of drugs.
Designed for sufferers of diabetes by researchers from South Korea’s Institute for Basic Science, the device monitors the wearer’s sweat. Its sensor is designed to measure glucose levels, but that bit of circuitry behaves differently depending on temperature and pH, so the team also added sensors to record those, too.
When it notices glucose levels are dropping, it can use a network of micro-needles to inject a tuned dose of drugs to correct it. The team claims that the integrated design is much more convenient for diabetes sufferers, who typically have to keep an eye on their glucose levels and then self-medicate depending on the results.
The device can be re-used and data harvested from it so that health workers can keep an eye on the patient’s health over time. It’s yet to undergo comprehensive medical testing, though, so it may be a little while yet before you stick one to your own arm.