San Diego, Calif., March 22, 2018 -- A team of researchers has developed a wearable, non-invasive system to monitor electrical activity in the stomach over 24 hours--essentially an electrocardiogram but for the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract.
Applications include monitoring GI activity for patients outside of a clinical setting, which cuts down costs.
The team tested the device, a 3D printed portable box connected to 10 small wearable electrodes, on 11 children and one adult volunteer.
They also found that the stomach's electrical activity changes not only around meals, but also during sleep, following its own circadian rhythm.
"We think our system will spark a new kind of medicine, where a gastroenterologist can quickly see where and when a part of the GI tract is showing abnormal rhythms and as a result make more accurate, faster and personalized diagnoses," said Armen Gharibans, the paper's first author and a bioengineering postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Diego.
"This work opens the door accurately monitoring the dynamic activity of the GI system," he said.