Healthcare Technology Featured Article

August 15, 2012

New Skin Health Monitor Tracks Vital Signs and Activity

Sensors have become the latest miracle in healthcare. There are sensors that check the sugar in your tears to transmit information about your health wirelessly to healthcare providers, ones that you wear to monitor your metabolic functions. There are even sensors that provide a snapshot of the user’s health, including heart rate, respiration, steps taken, activity and sleep patterns for a week. But, brand new sensors stick to your skin.

According to a story by Mike Miliard, Avery Dennison Medical Solutions, Proteus Digital Health, Inc., and Preventice are working together to produce patch-­based wearable sensors that clinical monitor “a patient’s unique physiological characteristics.” Data from the sensor is then uploaded to a computer or mobile device. People who have heart arrhythmias to asthma will benefit from this kind of sensor, according to the companies.

The patch, no bigger than a cell phone, gathers physiological and lifestyle information no matter where you are located. Upcoming versions will include vital signs and other indicators for up to seven days, Deepak Prakash, a global market segment manager who oversees Avery's wearable sensors, reported in a story at Medical Design Technology. The patch works by using mobile, cloud-based and sensor technology.

Avery Dennison Medical Solutions is a provider of adhesive technologies and material sciences and complex manufacturing platforms for medical applications.  Proteus Digital Health, Inc. develops wearable and ingestible sensing technology, while Preventice creates mobile health solutions and a fourth company, BodyMedia, Inc., contributes its propriety algorithms and experience in continuous on-body monitoring to pull it all together, according to the story.

The device contains not one but multiple sensors and the information they gather can be used to guide performance or behavioral modifications for health and wellness goals, including sports and fitness, as well as monitoring of vital signs.

One of the biggest challenges for the companies was formulating a skin-friendly adhesive for the patch-based sensor that had to be gentle, yet strong, to minimize the potential for discomfort or irritation upon removal. It also had to stay in place. The group accomplished this through a custom-designed adhesive formulation put together by Avery Dennison Medical Solutions.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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