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Company insight


Revolutionary monitoring at home


Monitoring devices have traditionally involved wires, patients hooked up to computers and periods of lying or sitting in a hospital room. Of course, there have been some rudimentary portable ones before now, but the next big step is finally upon us. Thilo Schmierer, business development manager for Datwyler, discusses the company’s latest medical offering, SoftPulse, and how its revolutionary materials could bring monitoring home.


I


ts roots can be traced back as far as the 1960s, but the innovators of yesteryear would hardly believe how far wearables has come since. Back then, the idea of wearable technology was just that, an idea, based on science fiction and a hefty amount of imagination. Today, though, you would be hard pressed to share a room with a handful of people and not one of them be adorned by some sort of ‘wearable’.


By the end of the past decade, the industry was worth an estimated $28bn, with projections that it would continue to grow at an annual rate of more than 15% over the coming years, according to research conducted by market intelligence provider Market Study Report. The report said a combination of the growing awareness of the benefits of technologically advanced wearables and the popularity of the internet of things, along with advances in next-gen technologies, such as smart interface screens, would sustain the rising demand.


SoftPulse soft dry electrodes in brush design.


and the military. Schmierer is the business development manager for Datwyler’s medical division, which is making a move into this burgeoning area. By 2025, the global wearable medical devices market will be huge –


“You can obtain signals from the brain, from collective actions of a person’s neurons, or from a heart or muscle; an EEG, ECG, or EMG respectively, depending on where you are measuring.”


Right now, many are familiar with wearables, whether it’s a smartwatch or fitness tracker. The more tech-savvy may have even been acquainted with a smart ring. However, as Dr Thilo Schmierer of Datwyler explains, a wearable is not just a lifestyle accessory. Today, they are used in a variety of spheres, including healthcare, work safety


a staggering $87.5bn according to Market Study Report’s estimates. Admittedly, some of that value will be associated with off-the-shelf wearables, as the figure includes the likes of fitness trackers. But physicians and healthcare providers are increasingly turning their attention to the offerings of wearables and how they can advance diagnostics, the treatments that


Medical Device Developments / www.nsmedicaldevices.com


follow on from diagnosis, and quality of life for the patients undergoing them.


Comfortable and


cost-effective monitoring In 2018, Datwyler, which provides high-quality, system-critical elastomer components, took its first step into the wearables market with the introduction of its SoftPulse electrodes. The use of electrodes in healthcare is nothing new. Combined with other technologies, they offer clinical teams treating patients an abundance of data and insight. “You can obtain signals from the brain, from collective actions of a person’s neurons, or from a heart or muscle; an EEG, ECG, or EMG respectively, depending on where you are measuring,” says Schmierer. It is even possible to detect eye movements. That data is then analysed and used to inform the care patients receive. However, the consequence can often be that patients have to remain in hospital with all “this messy equipment”


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