Disposable health patch is mostly printed, ultra-low cost

January 08, 2019 // By Julien Happich
At the Consumer Electronics Show, imec and TNO have unveiled the latest version of their health patch. Developed in the framework of the Holst Centre in Eindhoven, the new health patch can be worn for up to seven days before needing to be replaced, manufactured from flexible materials at a fraction of the cost of previous generations.

“A crucial technology improvement in this new generation health patch is the integration of a wide range of sensing capabilities into imec’s MUSEIC V3 system-on-chip solution. As a result, the device is almost an order of magnitude cheaper, while the high degree of integration makes it much more energy-efficient. The significant cost reduction means that the patch can now be used as a disposable solution, an important benefit for medical treatment,” explains Bernard Grundlehner, System Architect – Connected Health Solutions at imec the Netherlands.

The patch uses a mix of skin friendly and biocompatible materials. The base substrate is a very thin, flexible and elastic TPU material. Most of the electronic functionality is realized using printed electronics technologies and integrated dry electrodes provide a stable and high-quality electrical connection to the body. A comfortable silicone adhesive is used to provide long-term adhesion.
To limit the ecological footprint of the single-use patch, imec researchers have collaborated with Maxell Ltd. to develop an environmentally friendly battery which does not contain any toxic substances. Additionally, the MUSEIC V3 also improves the overall energy-efficiency because of its low-power signal acquisition. While competing solutions generally advertise a battery life of 3-4 days, imec’s solution has a battery life of over 7 days, in many cases even longer, depending on the specific configurations.


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