The healthcare industry also seeks to move forward into the digital age. Both our aging society and the low capacity of healthcare personnel in particular illustrate the vital need for novel, intelligent and especially digital solutions.
Printed Sensors for Healthcare
The healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors worldwide. But healthcare facilities often struggle with their personnel capacities. Thus, it is not always possible to provide optimal support to patients and give them the treatment they deserve. Our printed sensors can help to change this and additionally, offer added value that cannot be achieved with conventional technologies.
Why Printed Sensors Provide the Leading Edge
Printed sensors can be processed on ultra-thin and flexible substrates so that they can be integrated into medical packaging, products or devices. Printed on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the sensor foils do not generate any disturbing noise, even when bent or stretched. Moreover, TPU offers pleasant tactile properties which also enable the implementation of applications with direct skin contact. Further, the sensors can easily be integrated into textiles. These benefits open the door for completely new applications. Finally, the sensors can also be used as disposable products, as they can be printed on organic and recyclable materials, on the one hand, and then again, low manufacturing costs are possible through roll-to-roll production. Thus, a suitable solution can be developed for almost any individual application.
What Applications In Healthcare Are Conceivable?
For example, our sensors can be integrated into containers such as tablet blisters or drips to track the amount of medication or liquid, to ensure the correct dosage of medication or to ensure timely replenishment. This benefits both patients and health insurance companies and is particularly relevant for essential as well as expensive medications.
New control systems can be created by integrating sensors in hospitals or care facilities. Intelligent beds and the integration of data into IoT systems enable an individual treatment of every patient. By using pressure sensor matrices in hospital and care beds, for example, fall injuries and bedsores (decubitus) could be prevented. For one thing, this means massive savings through more efficient use of nursing staff, and for the other, by avoiding costs due to consequential damage and legal proceedings. In the USA alone, these savings amount to tens of billions.
In addition, the technology enables new therapeutic methods such as digital occlusion measurement or intelligent shoe soles. The latter support, for example, the analysis as well as the training of correct and safe walking behavior in Parkinson's patients. Many other solutions can be realized which help both nursing staff and patients.
Case Study - OccluSense® by Bausch
The newly developed OccluSense® product from Bausch with integrated flexible, printed pressure sensors from InnovationLab combines conventional and digital occlusion control. For the first time, the pressure distribution during the biting process is recorded digitally. The revolutionary aspect of this device is the digital visualization of the occlusal contact points and the associated occlusal dysbalance. The device can be operated by any dentist who uses the occlusion test as part of their daily routine.
Product Movie - OccluSense® by Bausch
The integrated printed flexible pressure sensors from InnovationLab demonstrate the unique advantages of printed electronics - thin, light and adaptable on plastic substrates.
The sensors are only 60 μm thin and very flexible. Due to their color coating, it is still possible to identify the contact points visually on the patient.