A UK hospital is testing new digital plaster technology that attaches to a patient’s body to track vital signs such as heart rate and breathing.

The lightweight, low-powered and portable plaster is designed to provide round-the-clock monitoring of patients and can send automative alerts to doctors.

The device can then gather all the patient’s physiological data from the wearer on handheld computers, according to timesonline.co.uk.

The plaster, which is being tested at St Mary’s Hospital in West London features silicon chip sensors with electrocardiogram pads to track heart activity and a motion sensor to monitor breathing patterns.

The disposable plaster will cost about £20 and can be used to monitor people at home, according to the news service.