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Electric patches on the skin in medicine: a therapeutic revolution?

Electric patches on the skin in medicine: a therapeutic revolution?

In the world of health, innovations are multiplying to improve patient care and their treatments. One of them concerns the use of electrical patches on the skin in medicine.

These devices offer numerous advantages and open the way to new therapeutic possibilities. This article presents the principle of these patches, their different medical applications as well as the prospects for development in this field.

Principle of electric patches on the skin

The electrical skin patch is a medical device that delivers electrical stimulation through the skin to act on the nerves, muscles or underlying tissues. This technology is based on two essential principles:

  1. Electrostimulation, which consists of delivering weak electrical impulses to stimulate or block nerve or muscle activity. This technique has been used for several decades to treat various pathologies, including chronic pain and certain neurological conditions.
  2. Transdermal, which uses the skin's ability to absorb and distribute certain substances, such as medications, to deliver them to targeted areas of the body. This method offers the advantage of bypassing the digestive system and avoiding the side effects associated with ingesting medications orally.

They can be designed to operate autonomously or be connected to an external control device, such as a smartphone or remote control. The electrical patch is generally composed of a flexible adhesive film which conforms to the shape of the body and integrated electrodes which ensure the transmission of electrical impulses.

Medical applications of electric patches on the skin

Thanks to their versatility and effectiveness, electrical patches on the skin find numerous applications in the field of medicine. Among the main uses, we can cite:

  • Pain management

    Pain treatment is one of the main indications for electric patches on the skin. By stimulating sensory nerves, these devices block the transmission of pain to the brain, thus providing rapid and lasting relief to patients. Electric patches are used in particular to treat muscle, joint, neuropathic and postoperative pain.

  • Muscle stimulation

    Electric patches can also be used to strengthen and tone muscles by causing them to contract in a controlled manner. This technique, called electromyostimulation, is used in rehabilitation to help patients regain muscle strength after an injury or surgery. It can also be used to prevent muscle atrophy in people who are immobilized or suffering from certain neuromuscular diseases.

  • Nerve stimulation

    By acting on the nerves, electrical patches can also be used to treat various neurological conditions, such as facial paralysis, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease. Some devices are specifically designed to stimulate the nerves responsible for movement, while others target nerves involved in regulating bodily functions, such as digestion or breathing.

Prospects for the evolution of electrical patches on the skin

The future of electrical patches on the skin in medicine looks promising, with the development of new technologies and the emergence of ever more efficient and versatile devices. Among the main trends to follow, we can mention:

  • The development of intelligent patches: Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and biomedical sensors, future electrical patches will be able to adapt in real time to patients' needs and adjust their stimulation according to the physiological parameters measured.
  • Integrating gene therapy: Researchers are currently working on using electrical patches to deliver DNA “drugs” directly into the body’s cells. This approach could pave the way for new treatments for genetic diseases and certain forms of cancer.
  • Miniaturization and design: The next generations of electrical patches will probably be smaller, more discreet and more aesthetic, which will facilitate their adoption by patients and their integration into daily life.

In conclusion, electrical patches on the skin represent a real therapeutic revolution in medicine and offer numerous possibilities for improving patient care. Thanks to technological and scientific advances, these devices are expected to continue to evolve and diversify in the future, paving the way for new applications and better treatments.

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