Fast Company reports that a new system links to a readout and shows how much electrical activity the needles are stimulating in a patient’s muscles.

Here’s what we know.

  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed technology that might make acupuncture more productive by pairing needles with small polyester patches and silicon chip wireless technology.
  • Acupuncturists use it to monitor their patient’s electromyography (EMG) signals and body temperature and modify the electric current to achieve the desired result.
    • EMG measured electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles.
  • For maximum energy efficiency and affordability, smart acupuncture uses the human body (instead of Bluetooth or Zigbee) to transmit signals — a technique called body area network or body channel communication.
  • The setup makes it possible to deliver electro-acupuncture without special facilities, which could make it attractive to developing countries and new practitioners.

The bottom line?

The real-time monitoring may also make electro-acupuncture safer and more effective, according to the developers.

Studies, please.

7/20/12 17:39 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.