From iWatch to FitBit, wearable technology is becoming an accepted and ubiquitous method of aiding people n leading healthier lives. Holographic images will one day offer the opportunity to acquire data without physical touch, allowing patients to stay out of clinics and hospitals. But the potential of these images and wearable technologies – such as skin patches that can sense stress levels and jewelry that can warn against falls – has barely been tapped into. Research and development in these areas are critical to improving health for Arizona and beyond.
UArizona is the academic scientific lead of the national FlexTech Alliance to further flexible hybrid electronics research that could reshape entire industries. These technologies promise to advance population health on a grand scale. With partners in the College of Medicine - Tucson, College of Medicine - Phoenix, Eller College of Management, College of Engineering, Tech Launch Arizona, and the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, UArizona innovators will turn sensor responses into recommended actions to optimize health and performance and will deploy new sensor systems to the clinic, field, and marketplace.
Dr. Marvin Slepian has dedicated much of his career on research related to the artificial heart and ventricular assist devices. He has developed and brought to the clinic a number of innovative technologies, using his unique and creative approach to biomedical problem solving. He has designed a number of "smart stents" for arteries with unique properties that make them more responsive to the clinical situation. Today, Slepian’s lab is developing a broad class of new materials known as “stretchable electronics.” Combining stretchy polymer plastic materials with thin electronics with redundant interconnects, novel “stretchable electronic polymer materials” allow the ability to sense and take action. These materials have a wide range of potential medical applicability – from wearable patches to internal implants.