Smart health patch adapts to measure Covid-19 patients

Henkel has partnered with six medical and technology companies to develop a smart health patch that allows continuous, remote and wireless monitoring of the respiration, heart rate of patients. Soon, it will also monitor patients’ temperature to monitor corona virus patients.

The product was initially designed to monitor the vital functions of patients with heart failure and epilepsy. It will soon be tested for the use of monitoring coronavirus patients in a Belgian hospital and the partners aim to roll out the technology to respond to a potential new coronavirus surge in the autumn.

The Covid-19 smart patch is the result of a collaboration between Belgian companies Byteflies, Melexis, Quad Industries, Televic and Z-Plus and the Belgian offices of Henkel and Nitto. The 150mm long adhesive patch can be applied to the left side of the chest. It has been developed especially for skin-friendly, medical use and contains electrodes and conductive inks to register vital signs.

A sensor dot is located in the centre of the patch collects the patient’s vital signs and sends all the data to the cloud wirelessly. A mini temperature sensor will be integrated soon. Healthcare professionals can access data via the cloud for patient follow-up at home. This, says Henkel, reduces the time and effort required by medical staff for data management.

Henkel has developed the electrodes and conductive inks. The patch can be used for five days rather than just one day.

Stijn Gillissen, global head of printed electronics at Henkel, said: “At the moment most Covid-19 patients’ vital signs are recorded manually. The staff in hospitals and care homes need to take these vital signs several times a day and then process the data manually. Our system has the potential to save them a lot of time and reduce the amount of times they are exposed to possible infection.”

The system enables patients in home quarantine or in care homes to take and send measurements automatically. They can also take action quickly and contact a healthcare centre if necessary.

The Oost-Limburg Hospital, Belgium will be the first medical institution to start clinical trials with the Covid-19 smart patch. The hospital will start testing the patch for about 20 patients in coming weeks. Based on this test, the partners aim to roll out the system more widely in other hospitals and care homes within the upcoming months.

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