PIEZOLOGY – Wearable sensors
PIEZOLOGY – Wearable sensors
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PIEZOLOGY – Wearable sensors


5th July 2022


Development of ultrasound wearable devices for connected health



From the connected object to the connected medical device


For several years now, we have seen the growth and development of connected health devices, starting with smartwatches and connected bracelets capable of counting the number of steps taken during the day, or to measure the heart rate or the calories burnt… These data could seem insignificant and easy to collect but they can be a source of new challenges for connected health. The biomedical sensors market reached a value of nearly $10,8 billion in 2020 and is forecast to be worth $15,13 billion in 2026. This growth can be partly explained by the increasing need for non-invasive continuous monitoring solutions in response to the ageing population and the medical follow-up of chronic diseases.


Medicine is slowly shifting away from doctors’ surgeries and hospitals and is becoming ambulatory, thanks to connected and wearable medical devices.


Just like a clothing item, a ring, a belt, or a pair of shoes, these devices can be worn constantly, but they also bring smart assistance. They are specially designed to be worn and to be adapted to bodies, but they also incorporate micro-sensors.


Within the scope of connected health, these micro-sensors fit with the use of ultrasound, in particular, thanks to the integration of transducers in wearable devices to allow the emission and reception of acoustic waves. Ultrasound can be used for imaging and for doppler echocardiography (blood-flow exploration in arteries and veins), allowing for the detection of cardiovascular disease, obstetrical difficulties, or musculoskeletal problems, for instance.


We gathered the following examples of developing applications that could revolutionize medicine.

Blood flow monitoring and heart disease detection:


The University of California San Diego and its Center for Wearable Sensors have been working for several years on a patch that can be worn directly on the skin – for example, on the neck, or on the chest – to monitor blood circulation and detect cardiovascular anomalies. This could be revolutionary for preventive medicine by detecting strokes and heart attacks before symptoms appear. These patches can gather information from deeper than the surface of the skin (down to 14cm within the body) and remain non-invasive. Composed of an array of ultrasound transducers, wrapped in a thin sheet of flexible polymer, the patches still need to be connected to a source of electricity to work. The goal, in the end, is to integrate all the electronics in the patches and to use an energy-harvesting system to make them autonomous and wireless.




Respiratory disease monitoring:

In 2017, some researchers from Université Laval, in Quebec, developed a smart t-shirt capable of detecting respiratory diseases thanks to a sensor encrusted in the fabric at chest level. This solution could, for instance, be used by patients suffering from asthma, sleep apnea, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.




Bringing new solutions to ill people to improve their everyday lives:

Beyond the monitoring of patients and their follow-up care, biomedical probes and sensors could help ill people in their everyday lives. For instance, researchers from MIT have developed a device for people suffering from motor neurone disease (MND), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to help them to communicate. This latter disease, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, gradually preventing the ill person from talking by paralyzing the facial muscles. In the form of a transparent silicone patch, full of piezoelectric sensors, this solution can be placed on the face to catch micromovements and turn these into words using a computer. The promising results from this work suggests that a system allowing ill people to communicate easily could see the light of day in the near future.




Pregnancy and fetal monitoring to reduce obstetric risks:

Natéo Healthcare is a company specializing in the development of pregnancy follow-up technologies for hospitals and home care, using a fetal monitoring belt. The device looks like an ergonomic belt for pregnant women, in which numerous sensors allow fetal heart-rate monitoring. Data are then delivered to health professionals to create medical follow-up, at a distance, for pregnant women and their babies.



Wearable medical devices have a bright future and will take up several medical challenges, including that of continuous monitoring.

PIEZOLOGY – Wearable sensors
PIEZOLOGY – Wearable sensors

PYTHEAS Technology uses its expertise in ultrasound to help you develop solutions:

PYTHEAS Technology has already developed an embedded device to monitor the health of structures – as with its work on satellite launchers with CNES, for example – and now wants to turn to new challenges in the field of human health.

The company wishes to take part in the development of connected health by designing and manufacturing biomedical ultrasound probes and wearable ultrasound devices.

We are the partner you need !