Title: Flexible thin-film transistor platform for healthcare patches
The field of wearable healthcare patches is gaining more attention due to the high potential of continuous monitoring of vital signs. Consequently, patients can leave the intensive care unit of a hospital sooner or can be further monitored at home. Long-term monitoring may also find its benefits in preventive healthcare in future. Wearable medical patches require several specifications, such as the necessity to be comfortable to wear for a long period, to have embedded lightweight integrated electronics, to have ideally no wiring to external units and to preserve a long battery lifetime. Flexible electronics based on thin-film transistors provide many opportunities for healthcare patches, as this is an ultrathin, flexible, stretchable and lightweight circuit technology. It also offers to monolithically integrate sensors and electrodes, amongst others by direct printing techniques. In this presentation, I will elaborate on flexible thin-film transistor technologies and their design challenges focusing on healthcare patches. Furthermore, the architecture of the readout electronics of a healthcare patch will be discussed. The main circuit blocks are comprising of wireless communication interfaces, such as RFID/NFC and capacitive identification , memory elements and analog-to-digital converters based on thin-film transistors. The integration of those critical IP blocks resulted in our recent work regarding a flexible NFC-enabled ECG patch . Finally, this presentation will summarize by detailing a roadmap paving the way for flexible electronics in the field of wearable healthcare patches.
 N. Papadopoulos, et al.; “Touchscreen tags based on thin-film electronics for the Internet of Everything”, accepted to Nature Electronics
 M. Zulqarnain, et al.; “A flexible ECG patch with NFC compatible RF communication”, submitted to Flexible Electronics
Acknowledgement – I would like to thank my coworkers at imec and TNO/Holst centre; M. Zulqarnain and E. Cantatore from TUe for their valuable contributions to this work. Part of this work has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 716426 (FLICs project) and No 732389 (CAPID project).
Dr. Kris Myny received the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the KULeuven, Leuven, Belgium in 2013. He is now a Principal Member of Technical Staff and R&D Team Leader at imec and specializes in circuit design for flexible thin-film transistor applications. His work has been published in numerous international journals and conferences, amongst which in Nature Electronics and several ISSCC contributions. He is a senior member of IEEE. He was listed as one of Belgium’s top tech pioneers by the business newspaper De Tijd and received in 2018 the European Young Researcher Award for design on thin-film electronics. In 2016 he also received a prestigious ERC Starting Grant from the European Commission to enable breakthrough research in thin-film transistor circuits (FLICs). He is now member of the Young Academy of Belgium between 2019-2024.
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