Here, we are introducing three examples of how adhesive technologies make the healthcare industry smarter and more reliable, improving the lives of current and future generations.
With an aging society the demand for caregivers and healthcare workers is only increasing. It is already apparent today, what impact a shortage in care workers has on both healthcare professionals and patients. Our smart diaper technology is designed for adult care and is one solution that can support care work in meeting patient needs. The Smart Adult Care Solution enables remote care of those with incontinence. Henkel’s expertise in adhesives and printed electronics turns a conventional diaper into a smart, connected medical device. A lightweight, flexible printed sensor and a reusable pod on the diaper, allow remote monitoring of moisture, movement, and temperature. Alerts are sent to the caregivers on an app when there is a need to react, thus freeing up time for other valuable care activities, as routine checks are eliminated. The individual and fast care limits related health problems like dermatitis. And by reducing the number of diaper changes, costs and materials can also be saved.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring helps diabetes patients
When it comes to chronic diseases, allowing for patient comfort and less invasive devices is a key challenge for healthcare professionals. Self-monitoring, in the case of diabetes for example, can be done through continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), where sensors measure blood sugar levels of their patients and displays the data on a reader device. Such devices need to provide reliable and accurate diagnostics to ensure that treatment is effective. Combining design expertise with close customer collaboration resulted in a device that is smaller than previous ones. This makes it easier to handle for patients, allowing them to closely monitor their glucose levels and react with timely insulin injections. Henkel’s conductive sensing materials and skin-grade adhesives are a key enabler for reliable CGM skin patches. And with this sensor, glucose levels are not only monitored accurately in real-time, but consequently patients have to spend less money on insulin.
Smart health patches support data-driven healthcare
So-called smart health patches address the increasing demand for digital health solutions and remote patient monitoring. They can remotely monitor patient heartrate, respiration rate, blood oxygen, and other human body functions. Thanks to an on-skin sensor, the miniature hardware tracks relevant data, sending information to, for example, nursing staff on when to move a patient to avoid bedsores. This is possible thanks to the solutions for printed electronics that our experts at Adhesive Technologies have developed with partners over the last years. Printable materials that contain electrically conductive particles can be printed on a wide range of substrates for various sensing functions used in medical patches. Henkel also provides a selection of skin-grade pressure sensitive adhesives to anchor devices to the skin with an easy peal and stick option. These patches increase comfort levels for patients, allowing them to stay at home, while reducing the number of visits to doctors' offices or hospitals. The collection of long-term medical data can also support the healthcare professionals in diagnostics and treatment, and even lead to lower costs or fewer cases of hospitalization.