Wearable smart patches offer a wide range of possibilities in medical diagnosis and are becoming increasingly popular. Current trends include even greater functionality, improved comfort, and the ongoing miniaturization of electronic patches. In collaboration with accensors, a German specialist on the development and production of film-based sensors, actuators and emitters, Covestro has developed a concept which picks up on these trends and focuses on the durable use of electronics – a plus point in terms of resource conservation and sustainability. Covestro makes this progress possible with Baymedix raw materials for adhesives and foams, as well as Platilon thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films. accensors has developed the sensor system and electronic modules.
Smart patches should be as small, flexible, and unnoticeable as possible in order to offer patients a high level of comfort. The newly developed solution consists of two elements: a non-reusable element (the Disposable Patch) including sensors that is applied to the skin with an adhesive and used only once, and a reusable element, the ReUse Patch, which houses all the electronics, for example the measurement technology, power supply, data processing, radio transmission and if desired an optical camera.
Thanks to Covestro materials and to integrated film sensors, the wearable patches are very lightweight, thin and flexible, and fit well to the surface of your body – you can hardly feel them. Polyurethane adhesives made from Baymedix raw materials are skin-friendly and offer low trauma when removed from the skin. Various sensors are integrated in the patch to determine vital signs, for example pulse, pressure or temperature. Here, sensor integration is achieved by using special Platilon films in combination with a thermoformable foam based on Baymedix. All these materials are breathable and can be efficiently processed with roll-to-roll technology.
Removing and inserting the ReUse Patch into the Disposable Patch couldn’t be easier – thanks to an ideal combination of materials and function. accensors particularly developed a film sensor that forms the interface between the smart patch and the patient and can be equipped with varied sensors.
Smart patches are already widely used for medical diagnosis, for example, to measure a patient’s blood sugar levels, body temperature, or heart rate. The observation of disease patterns such as skin cancer or chronic wounds is also possible. Many other applications are emerging in sports and recreation.