A wearable monitoring device is set to make treatment of swallowing disorders easier and more affordable

Researchers from Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences have created a skin-mountable sensor sticker that attaches firmly to the neck and is connected with small cables to a wireless transmitter unit.

The sensor sticker measures and records the muscle activity and movement associated
with swallowing and stores the information in the transmitter unit. The information can then be analysed by a doctor to understand the precise cause of a patient’s swallowing difficulties and prescribe more targeted and effective treatment.

The stickers, made of relatively inexpensive components, are designed to be disposable, and can be used about ten times before being disposed.

Researchers hope this inexpensive device will assist patients in practicing swallowing at home without the need for regular visits to healthcare facilities. Patients attach the wearable on their own as it measures and records swallowing-related muscle activities and movements and sends the information to a separate component that is clipped onto patients’ shirts for analysis.

Each year, as many as nine million adults and 500,000 children in the US are affected by severe swallowing disorders