Wearable medical device aids swallowing (video)

January 3, 2020

Georgia A. Malandraki, an associate professor of speech, language, and hearing sciences in Purdue University's College of Health and Human Sciences, and Chi Hwan Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering in Purdue's College of Engineering, founded Curasis LLC and serve as an acting chief executive officer and chief technology officer, respectively. The researchers created a skin-mountable sensor sticker that attaches firmly to the neck area and is connected with small cables to a wireless transmitter unit. The sensor measures and records muscle activity and movement associated with swallowing, with information sent wirelessly to software that stores it for later analysis by a doctor.

"Our device is unique in that we specifically created it to work well with the small and intricate muscles associated with swallowing events," Lee says. "The sensor sticker is stretchable and flexible to work well with the skin and curvilinear head and neck shape, while the connected unit has electronic chips and more rigid components."

The sensor stickers are disposable, designed with inexpensive components and meant to be used about 10 times before they are thrown away.


A wearable monitoring device to make treatments easier and more affordable for the millions of people with swallowing disorders is about to be released into the market.