BINGHAMTON, NY – A revolutionary approach to medicine using flexible, wearable electronics being developed at Binghamton University has entered the clinical trial phase.

FlexMed, a part of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing at B-U, is developing the Smart Patch.

It’s worn like a bandage and contains tiny sensors that wirelessly transmit critical health information such as pulse, blood oxygen levels and hydration from people undergoing critical care.

With funding from New York State’s NYSTAR and the federal government’s NextFlex, the Smart Patch is currently being tested with industry partner G-E Research and the U-S military.

A clinical trial is currently underway at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Distinguished Professor of Engineering Mark Poliks is leading the effort.

He says B-U’s research into flexible electronics stretches back decades.

“It’s been a long-term effort. But it’s been a very rewarding effort for our graduate students, for our undergraduates, for our faculty and, most importantly, for our company partners. They’re the ones who are able to take this technology and eventually perhaps hire more employees here in the state to do this work,” says Poliks.

Poliks believes product launches are still 4 to 5 years away.

But ultimately, he’d like to see the patches available in pharmacies, sending information directly to your smart phone.

In addition to transmitting vital signs, Poliks says other uses are being developed for the technology, including industrial sensors for drones, wind turbines, bridges and other infrastructure.