In the OPE (Organic and printed electronics) journal of May 2021 about IoT, Sensors and Healthcare TNO@Holst centre presents the printed electronics health patch sensor platform that 2M Engineering and TNO@Holst are developing together.
Leading the way in human-centric healthcare
Digital health technologies are changing the way the healthcare is delivered. Advancement in digital health technologies are helping to shift the focus away from ‘treating patients’ towards ‘ensuring the well-being ofa person’, and in taking preventive measuresfor vulnerable group of people. Impact of thecurrent COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the adaption of digital health technologies in daily clinical practice (1). Patient care is transitioning to de-centralised care settings with real-time monitoring, where in-person consulting is preferred only as a second line in the treatment. This facilitates healthcare practitioners (HCP) to provide intervention along the care continuum and deliver care outside of traditional hospital environment. This also has a positive impact on the patient experience and well-being, resulting in greater human-centricity in healthcare. Wearable devices play a key role in facilitating this transition in care delivery, and this is expected to gain momentum with increasing access to 5G technology (2). These devices are well on their way to forming the backbone of internet of medical things (IoMT), offering the possibility to continuously monitor and wirelessly communicate the physiological parameters of the wearer at any location, without interfering with his/her daily activities.
Key challenges in Printed Electronics wearable health patch Sensor development
There are certain key challenges that need to be addressed while developing a printed electronics wearable health patch sensor device. To start with, there is no ‘one-type-fits-all’ wearable device that can fulfil the application needs of different target groups. A wide range of factors influence the configuration, applicability and the accuracy of a health patch device, a selection of which is listed below:
- Physiological parameter that needs to be measured;
- Location on the human body where it will be applied;
- Target group of people (elderly, patients, high-risk groups, infants, etc.);
- Setting in which it is used (clinical, home, anywhere, etc.);
- Required duration of wear;
- The primary objective: Is the device intended for prescribing course of treatment or an intervention, or is it solely meant for monitoring purposes?