Health Monitoring Can Be a Sticky Situation

By Sean Fenske, Editor | 11.15.16

Adhesive technology provider Vancive responds to questions about wearable patch monitoring devices.

In the medical technology space, wearables are still garnering a good amount of interest. For many devices, their clinical reliability still has some developing to do. One type of device that is offering a solution to this isn’t worn on the wrist, but rather is provided as an adhesive patch form factor. As such, placement can be selected for optimal effectiveness while also having the sensors firmly secured in a fixed position.
To discuss the trends and benefits associated with this technology, Medical Product Outsourcing spoke with Deepak Prakash, global director of marketing at Vancive Medical Technologies, an Avery Dennison business. Vancive is exhibiting at the Medica show in Germany in hall 6, stand H07.

Sean Fenske: Why are wearables so attractive to the clinical healthcare space?
Deepak Prakash: Wearables in the clinical space have the potential to address ease of use and quality of life concerns that can be a hindrance with traditional modalities. With more care shifting to the home, wearables allow for additional flexibility in both care and recovery.

Deepak Prakash is global director of marketing at Vancive Medical Technologies, an Avery Dennison business.
Fenske: Do you see the market space for temporary uses of wearables in healthcare (e.g., wearable patch for monitoring for seven days) growing significantly?
Prakash: Yes, particularly in the areas of metabolic assessments, chronic disease management, and other short-term diagnosis cases. These segments could be an ideal fit for wearables products.
Fenske: What advantages do wearable patches offer in comparison to a wrist-worn wearable?
Prakash: The intimate skin contact afforded by wearable patches can be the optimal way to obtain some physiological signals. Also, for certain physiological parameters, locating the product in places other than the wrist may be required due to the measurement’s nature. There might be additional benefits in terms of minimizing effects due to motion artifacts.
Fenske: How are materials enhancing the capabilities and offerings of wearable patches?
Prakash: Material selection is critical from a design and manufacturing standpoint. In addition, in clinical applications, it’s essential for all materials to be biocompatible. Proper material selection makes the eventual product performance in terms of economics and function more manageable and predictable.
Fenske: For what reasons are OEMs seeking assistance from their supply partners in the development of wearable patches?
Prakash: This is still a nascent space with a limited experience base in terms of wearable patch design and manufacturing. There are only a few companies, such as Vancive, that have demonstrated the ability to scale such products. Given the complexity of product form, construction, and user requirements, such as the requirement that patches perform comfortably for long periods under multiple-use environments, it is clear that you need a collaborative effort to develop a successful product.
Fenske: Where is this market segment headed? What’s coming in the next few years?
Prakash: The market is still in its infancy. Companies are still experimenting and trying to identify the product forms and functions that will result in breakthroughs. As clinical practice embraces wearables and reimbursement becomes more widespread, I fully expect these breakthroughs to occur. But I think it will be a slow trajectory and take a few more years.