The future has arrived in the form of medical wearable devices. These devices are often comprised of a ridged box of electronics with a battery and some type of adhesive, so that it can attach to the patient’s skin. This close contact can be a problem when you consider that some wearables stay on for long periods of time. Comfort is incredibly important, as anyone who wears a prosthesis could tell you. And trying to mount a stiff silicon chip and hard-bodied battery on a ductile human body, isn’t necessarily comfortable.
So how can we offer PCBs, chips, sensors, and a power source in a comfortable package? Dr.Yonggang Huang, professor of mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, thinks the answer is to make the electronics as “squishy” as a person.