COVID-19: Fabrication of autonomous flexible hybrid electronic devices for patient-monitoring
Our industrial partners have a preliminary design and beta-prototype for an entirely novel monitoring device. This monitoring patch consists of a fully-autonomous and wireless flexible hybrid electronic circuit providing real-time measurements of vital signs. It can remotely provide temperature, ECG and oximetry measurements, hence revealing early signs of fever, arrhytmia, respiratory distress and blood pressure connected with COVID‑19 infection using cloud-computing AI algorithms. This next-generation of advanced health-monitoring devices could provide a tremendous help in the context of the current pandemic situation by (1) protecting healthcare workers by detecting the first signs of fatigue and/or infection, (2) alleviating the burden on the healthcare workers with a tool for real-time patient monitoring with automated alerts when their situation changes and (3) providing a screening solution for patients showing-up at the clinic with early signs of infection. Given a patch, they can go back home and receive an alert message if their situation evolves, with an emergency number to reach a healthcare professional and discuss changes to their health situation and the need to go to the hospital and/or clinic. In this project, our long-time industrial partners need our unique expertise in flexible hybrid electronic fabrication and integration using the pilot-line facilities at C2MI (Bromont, QC). The research objective will be: (1) to exploit our unique expertise in digitally-printed electronics and pilot-ready component assembly and integration, in order to (2) print a high-precision temperature-sensing device and circuitry on the flexible substrate to provide more accurate temperature measurements and (3) integrate a new more performant and rechargeable polymer-based battery module in order to increase device accuracy, increase lifetime and reduce costs. These first units will then be sent-out by the industrial partner to experts in order to rapidly obtain a Class-II certification in order to help the current situation. After the pandemic, it is clear that this device will also provide a tremendous help for many other patient monitoring or workers protection applications.