A rigid-flex wearable health monitoring sensor patch for IoT-connected healthcare applications

Taiyang Wu, Fan Wu, Chunkai Qiu, Jean Michel Redoute, Mehmet Rasit Yuce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new communication paradigm that can connect elements from various fields through the Internet. One of the most attractive IoT applications is in the modern healthcare area, as the traditional healthcare system has an increasing demand for social resources, including doctors, nurses, hospital beds, and health monitoring devices. In this article, the design of a compact wearable sensor patch is presented for measurements of different physiological signals, such as the electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmography (PPG), and body temperature. As ECG and PPG sensors are integrated with the same device, the proposed sensor patch can be used to estimate blood pressure (BP) continuously based on the pulse arrival time (PAT) without extra wires and devices. The sensor patch consists of a center board for signal acquisition and processing, a power board for energy supply and charging batteries, and three sensors for vital signs monitoring. All the components are designed in a rigid-flex structure, which can be easily attached to the human body for remote health monitoring applications. The sensors can be detached from the center board for customized measurements of a certain physiological signal (e.g., ECG) to reduce power consumption. Experiments are conducted to validate the performance of the proposed sensor patch by comparison with a commercial reference device. With the integration of a miniaturized Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) module, the proposed sensor system can transmit physiological measurements wirelessly to a gateway. Data encryption is applied on both the sensor patch and gateways to protect data for privacy and security purposes during transmission. Both a mobile gateway (based on smartphones) and a fixed gateway (based on portable computers) are designed as the bridge between the wearable sensor system and the Internet cloud, where health data can be stored and further analyzed. The experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the overall platform for IoT-connected healthcare applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6932-6945
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Bluetooth low energy (BLE)
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • photoplethysmography (PPG)
  • rigid-flex design
  • wearable healthcare

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