Business is booming.

Mothers-to-be could soon watch their baby grow with new ultrasound 'stickers'

Expectant mothers may one day watch their babies grow inside them thanks to an ultrasonic sticker that sticks to the body like a band-aid.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a wearable device the size of a postage stamp.

It can capture live continuous images for up to 48 hours showing what is happening deep inside the body.

They are now fine-tuning an AI that can analyze the results and send them to a smartphone app.

Researchers hope they will become available in stores and pharmacies for pregnant women to use once a week.

The patches — which are about 3mm thick — can also be used to track cancer patients’ tumors and speed up disease diagnosis and treatment.

Mothers to be could soon watch their baby grow with new ultrasound

A new sticker that produces ultrasound images could be used to allow pregnant women to see their babies on their phones

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have developed a 2cm by 2cm wearable sticker (shown) that produces ultrasound images

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have developed a 2cm by 2cm wearable sticker (shown) that produces ultrasound images

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have developed a 2cm by 2cm wearable sticker (shown) that produces ultrasound images

WHAT IS AN ULTRASONIC SCAN?

Ultrasound is based on the same principles as sonar. When a sound wave hits an object, it bounces back.

By measuring these waves and their behavior, it is possible to determine how far away the object is, as well as the size, shape and consistency of the object – whether the object is solid or filled with liquid.

Ultrasound, also called ultrasound, uses a small probe and some gel on the patient’s skin.

The probe, a transducer, transmits sounds through the gel and into the body.

When the transducer picks up the sounds that bounce back, a computer uses those sound waves to create an image.

Ultrasound does not use high-energy or ionizing light waves, so there is no harm to the patient.

Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Conventional ultrasound images are flat and two-dimensional, but recent advances have made it possible to take hundreds at a time to create a 3D image of the area.

Ultrasound can be used in a variety of ways, but it is most commonly used to create images of a fetus in the womb during pregnancy.

They are also used to assess pain, inflammation, and swelling in affected areas.

In addition to assessing symptoms, they can be used as a diagnostic tool for determining the cause of disease in most organs.

Professor Xuanhe Zhao, a mechanical engineer at MIT who helped design the technology, told MailOnline: “The ultrasonic stickers could potentially be used for imaging of pregnant women.

“But to guarantee safety, the frame rate has to be lowered, for example one to imaging per week.”

He said: ‘We imagine a few plasters that are in different locations on the body.

‘The patches would communicate with your mobile, where AI algorithms would analyze the images on demand.

“We believe we have opened a new era of wearable imaging. You could see your internal organs with a few spots on your body.’

He told MailOnline: ‘The ultrasonic stickers could potentially be used for imaging of pregnant women.

“But to guarantee safety, the frame rate has to be lowered, for example one to imaging per week.”

The stickers were tested in a study published in Science.

Fifteen volunteers wore the stickers for 48 hours on various parts of their bodies, including neck, chest, abdomen and arms.

During this time, the participants performed a variety of activities — from sitting and standing to jogging, cycling, and lifting weights.

The small patch was able to show how the heart changes shape during exercise and how the stomach swelled and shrank as the volunteers drank juice and passed it through their system.

While lifting some weights, the team was able to detect bright patterns in underlying muscles that showed where there was temporary damage to the muscles.

Ultrasounds are currently used by technicians to show pictures of a baby as it develops inside the body, but require bulky expensive equipment and training to use.

They also require someone to continuously hold a probe, and the gel needed to produce an image can dry out over time, meaning they can’t monitor organs for extended periods of time.

The MIT experts claim the new stickers will get around this by keeping the gel in an air barrier, meaning they can be used more for two-day observation of tumors, heart failure and hypertension.

While medical imaging in hospitals usually takes a few seconds, the stickers can follow the patient for 48 hours.

This allows for ‘long-term, continuous’ imaging of internal organs such as the heart, lungs, muscles and blood vessels.

They could also improve wearable devices, which currently only provide linear data such as body temperature and heart rate, by giving them an image dimension.

Ultrasound normally works by sending sound waves through the body and measuring when they bounce back like sonar.

It takes a probe to send the sound through a gel and into the body, which is then picked up by a transducer that creates an image.

The new technology uses a sticky layer to attach a thin probe to the skin through a layer of soft gel that doesn’t dry.

A layer on top of the transmitting probe captures the sound waves as they bounce back.

It’s currently wired to a large computer, like today’s echoes are, but experts are developing technology to make it wireless.

They are also developing an AI that would mean the clunky hardware is no longer needed and images can be sent directly to smartphones.

.