According to a recent Medgadget article, researchers from Northwestern University have created a flexible cardiac monitoring device designed for patients who’ve experienced a cardiac event. The soft patch adheres to the heart's surface during a standard procedure and is biodegradable, eliminating the need for a separate removal procedure. The transparent patch enables normal heart imaging, while its embedded microelectrode array monitors cardiac dynamics through optical and electrical mapping. The device can transmit cardiac data to medical professionals and offer pacemaker-like functions when necessary.
Given that heart disease remains a significant cause of death and illness, especially after a cardiac event, the researchers aimed to develop a solution for closely monitoring and treating patients during the critical post-event period. The device can be attached during the initial procedure and remain in place for weeks to months, addressing potential complications. The technology is designed to address issues like atrial fibrillation and heart block that often arise after cardiac procedures. The device's ability to map electrical activity and provide targeted electrical stimuli offers promise for more effective post-surgical monitoring and intervention.