One of the key problems in treating a long-term medical condition is adhering to a set routine of medicine intake. To resolve this, scientists have now created a smart skin patch which can automatically dispense drugs when needed.
Pharmaceutical companies have long been seeking such a solution. Many patients are either unable to take their medicine at the prescribed time or they simply don’t know the right amount of medicine to take at a given time.
A device which could monitor all the key vitals and symptoms of a patient can help with this. Until now, this didn’t seem possible as most systems couldn’t monitor the vitals. But now, a group of scientists have come up with a smart skin patch which can smartly dispense the medicine into the patient’s body.
This skin patch is 2 inches long and shaped like a rectangle. It is created from stretchable nanomaterials and contains heat-activated silica nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are able to accurately measure muscle activity and using this information, dispense medicine into the patient’s body. Such a solution may finally herald a generation of smart and tiny medicine-dispensing devices.
The co-author of the study which revealed this accomplishment, Dae-Hyeong Kim says, “People are very interested in continuous and controlled drug delivery.” He reveals how the use of stretchable materials enables a controlled dose of a required medicine. He further says, “In the future, wireless components should be integrated. and then this system will be connected to wireless networks.”
If such patches could be made wireless, doctors would be able to remotely monitor a patient’s vitals and symptoms, and direct the patch whether or not to deliver any medicine. However, it will be another 5 years or so before such skin patches reach the market.