Pete Celano, 20 September 2016
Adhesive sensors are coming, because consumers always want smaller/easier/more real-time.
I’m guessing we’ll see ~4 key categories–
- Hydration/Sweat Sensor: Kenzen.
- Sleep Sensor: Zansors.
- Cardio: Zio from iRhythm.
- Drug Delivery: Chrono Therapeutics (they raised $47.6 million in September of 2016).
There are two markets that any Adhesive Sensor could straddle: Healthcare & Sports. In Healthcare, these devices typically can be used as a Screener without needing FDA-clearance– but if/as used diagnostically, the FDA path typically is necessary. Many inventors in Healthcare start their device in Screening, while simultaneously or later going through the FDA-clearance marathon.
Per Robert Beech, chairman and co-founder of Eccrine Systems from this 9/19/2016 article:
“What blood results are for invasive medicine using needles, sweat has to be for noninvasive to get and measure cholesterol, cortisol, ovulation monitoring, fertility, reproductive health. It could be used to determine electrolyte loss, which can be used for cardiac patients.”
In Sports, we have the Worried Well, and the Weekend Warriors. This is the cohort that propelled wearables to great heights, and even spawned the Quantified Self movement.
Perhaps the Adhesive Sensor Race started in earnest early this year, with this announcement (product review here):
January 6, 2016 – Today at the Consumer Electronics Show, L’Oréal unveiled My UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure and help consumers educate themselves about sun protection. The new technology arrives at a time when sun exposure has become a major health issue, with 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers being associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun* in addition to attributing to skin pigmentation and photoaging.
To address these growing concerns, L’Oréal Group’s leading dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, is introducing a first-of-its kind stretchable electronic, My UV Patch. The patch is a transparent adhesive that, unlike the rigid wearables currently on the market, stretches and adheres directly to any area of skin that consumers want to monitor. Measuring approximately one square inch in area and 50 micrometers thick – half the thickness of an average strand of hair – the patch contains photosensitive dyes that factor in the baseline skin tone and change colors when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.
To say Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has taken off slowly would be a gross understatement. There have to be 20x more active panic pendant systems (a 30-year old technology) in America than RPM systems actively measuring daily vitals such as BP and SpO2.
But that’s in large part because the vitals measurement devices in the home-setting are klunky, expensive and vexingly hard for patients to “DIY.” Thus, here come all manner of dirt-simple, small and low cost adhesive sensors, first a trickle and then a torrent.