The future of medicine helps aging parents have more comfortable health care

In the future: Your aging parent visits the doctor from his sofa?

Dad hates his appointments. He likes to be home where his surroundings are familiar and comfortable. He especially suffers because of his dementia, which, in his case, makes him rather suspicious of and feisty with strangers. Every appointment, every test, every checkup is a stressful encounter for both of us.  But what can I do?  It’s not like I have the choice to say, “It’s OK Dad. You can stay home. You don’t need to go to the doctor’s office.”

One day, I may not have to say “Dad needs to go to the doctor.” Instead, I could say, “upload Dad’s information to the doctor’s website.”

Scientists in Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology have unveiled a paper-thin patch that can collect vital information from the body. The patch is versatile as well. Depending on where the patch is placed, it can collect different information.

Geng Yang, a researcher working on the product, shows how the psays the Bio-patch measures bio-electrical signals through the skin. “On the chest it provides electrocardiography (ECG), on the skull it measures brainwaves (EEC), and on the forearm it can measure muscle response to stimulation from the nervous system (EMG),” he says. Additionally, it can monitor body temperature.

The researchers are excited to see the future of healthcare move out of hospitals and offices and back to the home. “Bio-patch is a step towards what is known as self-care, which is valuable especially for patients discharged after an operation, or for the elderly living unassisted,” Yang states. Think about the advantages of this type of device when you’re caring for your aging parents.

The Bio-patch is thin, flexible, and best of all, economical. It is easy to attach to the skin, and can be discarded after use. Scientists have already developed a prototype for the Bio-patch, so it may be arriving in our lives sooner than later.