Soft skin-interfaced mechano-acoustic sensors for real-time monitoring and patient feedback on respiratory and swallowing biomechanics

Youn J. Kang, Hany M. Arafa, Jae Young Yoo, Cagla Kantarcigil, Jin Tae Kim, Hyoyoung Jeong, Seonggwang Yoo, Seyong Oh, Joohee Kim, Changsheng Wu, Andreas Tzavelis, Yunyun Wu, Kyeongha Kwon, Joshua Winograd, Shuai Xu, Bonnie Martin-Harris*, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Swallowing is a complex neuromuscular activity regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Millions of adults suffer from dysphagia (impaired or difficulty swallowing), including patients with neurological disorders, head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, and respiratory disorders. Therapeutic treatments for dysphagia include interventions by speech-language pathologists designed to improve the physiology of the swallowing mechanism by training patients to initiate swallows with sufficient frequency and during the expiratory phase of the breathing cycle. These therapeutic treatments require bulky, expensive equipment to synchronously record swallows and respirations, confined to use in clinical settings. This paper introduces a wireless, wearable technology that enables continuous, mechanoacoustic tracking of respiratory activities and swallows through movements and vibratory processes monitored at the skin surface. Validation studies in healthy adults (n = 67) and patients with dysphagia (n = 4) establish measurement equivalency to existing clinical standard equipment. Additional studies using a differential mode of operation reveal similar performance even during routine daily activities and vigorous exercise. A graphical user interface with real-time data analytics and a separate, optional wireless module support both visual and haptic forms of feedback to facilitate the treatment of patients with dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number147
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management


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