Industrial Electronics

COVID-19 may usher in new flexible electronics for healthcare wearables

01 May 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote treatment and monitoring of patients is becoming more common. As such, flexible electronics are making strides in the healthcare industry with IDTechEx forecasting the flexible electronics market to grow to more than $8.3 billion by 2030.

Whether used in a hospital or medical setting or to monitor for viruses or diseases in the home, the medical industry is turning to flexible electronics, particularly, wearable devices, as a long-term solution.

Electronic skin patches, which are wearable devices that adhere to the skin, can be applied to a patient’s body and the data it collects can then be wirelessly transmitted back to a physician or collected at the end of a monitoring period. Electronic skin patches offer the wearer more comfort than being connected to several different wires.

Another opportunity for flexible electronics is in e-textiles where clothing is embedded with electronics for monitoring and fitness. These include anything from smart shirts to smart socks, smart underwear and even smart bedsheets.

Printed electronics could also be used for at-home blood glucose tests as they are printed on a flexible substrate. This would be essential for diabetics to help monitor their blood glucose daily.

Other uses for printed electronics could be in smart packaging for medication that needs to be tracked. For instance, smart blister packs allow physicians to get an idea of whether health issues are due to medications not working or if patients are simply not taking them.

Learn more about IDTechEx’s forecast for flexible electronics with its Flexible Electronics in Healthcare 2020-2030 report.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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