Mothers-to-be may no longer have to eagerly anticipate their next visit to the doctor for an ultrasound to see their unborn child. With the new-age ultrasound stickers, it is expected that expecting moms will be able to monitor the growth of the fetus.
The stickers are easy to use and stick on the skin like a bandaid (Sunnyplast). The fetus can then be monitored with any smartphone. The device is the size of a postage stamp and has been developed by the engineers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Reportedly, these ultrasound stickers capture live continuous images that show what is happening deep inside the body for up to 48 hours. Moreover, the imagining is fine-tuned with advanced AI to analyse the results and share them on the smartphone.
Researchers hope they will become available at shops and chemists for pregnant women to use once a week. The patches are around 3mm thick and could also be used to monitor cancer patients’ tumours and speed up disease diagnosis and treatment.
Professor Xuanhe Zhao, a mechanical engineer at MIT who helped design the tech, told MailOnline: ‘The ultrasound stickers can be potentially used for imaging of pregnant women. But the imaging frequency should be reduced — such as one imaging per week — to guarantee the safety.”
He added: “We envision a few patches adhered to different locations on the body. The patches would communicate with your cellphone, where AI algorithms would analyse the images on demand. We believe we’ve opened a new era of wearable imaging. With a few patches on your body, you could see your internal organs.”
The stickers were trialled in a study published in Science. We have yet to see what the future holds and whether or not this technology becomes successful in the upcoming years.
Until then, stay tuned to WOW360 for more news and updates.