Technology that is Flexible, Sticky, and Smart = Wearable Patches

Wearable skin patches are becoming more and more present within the wearable market. They can be used for sports, drug-delivery, or patient monitoring. Skin patches are ideal because they can be hidden under clothing, do not interfere with movement and therefore can record more accurate data. Wearable patches are not removable patches for clothing, or wraps that hug the skin, instead they are stick adhesives that may or may not contain a medication or sensor. But they do incorporate a way of sticking on the skin for duration of time and all use electrons to work. Check out a few of WT | Wearable Technologies favorite patches below!

The Ionto Team has created several patches that can be coined wearable. Patch+ is the Ionto Team’s iontophoretic technology patch. This is the top-of-the-line technology used in diminishing wrinkles on the face, specifically around the eyes. Iontophoresis technology sends a small current through the skin to release medication without the use of a needle. Ionto Team also has patches that work as solutions for acne, cellulite, skin permeability, plus more. Ionto Team’s successful use of iontophoresis has lead WT to predict that this is the sort of technology needed to spice up the wearable market. Check out their video below about how to use their winkle-reducing patch. The video is only available in Spanish, WT apologizes for the inconsistency.

Gentag produces nearly invisible disposable skin patches. Gentag has sensors embedded into the patches, but also uses iontophoresis to deliver drugs through the epidermis without a needle. Their patches include a Fever patch, Fitness monitoring, Skin care (measures UV exposure), Diabetes monitoring, and drug-delivery for a variety of medications. Gentag also has Radar Responsive (RR) tags for geolocation info as well as physiological wellbeing. Their RR tags were tested with the USA nation defense, but are now sold for tracking athletes at major sporting events, Alzheimer’s patients, firefighters, and small children.  The best ability about Gentag’s patches are that they require no battery – completely passive technology.

Proteus Digital Health is an effective healthcare solution for people with diabetes. They combine a smart patch with a digestible sensor-enabled smart pill. Proteus Digital Health is setting the path for future healthcare products that can assist and monitor your body’s changes simultaneously- otherwise pioneering a new field called Digital Medicine. The data recorded is similar to fitness trackers; steps, sleep, weight and heart rate but they also added blood pressure and medication usage. The sensor embedded pill will send signals to the patch once it has reached the stomach of the user.  Then the patch collects all the sensors info (from inside the user) then transmits the data to the Proteus software application. Lastly the user can then decide if they want to share their physiological info with their personal doctor.

Nemaura Medical has developed a glucose monitoring system called sugarBEAT. The system consist of four parts; daily disposable skin-prep patch, daily disposable adhesive sensor-patch, Bluetooth enabled wristable for display/alarm, and a smartphone app.  Nemaura suggest you place the patch on your forearm or calf – after cleansing. The patch then needs 2 hours to calibrate to your body, while it connects to your wristable. After calibration, the patch will record data about your glucose levels 4 time per hour for 12 hours. The user’s glucose levels are recorded on the wristable in real-time. Lastly, all data is record and stored on their app. If the user finds some data unsettling, they can send this through to cloud to their healthcare provider for further investigations. Nemaura Medical plans to launch the sugarBEAT system after they receive CE approval in 2016 for Europe and APAC regions.

OmniPod is another wearable drug-delivery patch for those with diabetes. It has been on the market for a few years, yet WT has yet to feature in an article. The patch is small, waterproof, and can be placed in several locations around the body. These qualities make it a perfect insulin patch for children, and active folks. The user needs to inject insulin into the patch before putting in on, then once the patch is in place the user can control it with a hand-held device. Omnipod will stay attached to the body for 3 days while constantly checking and administering insulin.

HIVOX has developed two products that are wearable patches to assist with pain relief. The first is Spopad; an anywhere, anytime EMS stimulator. It is available in many different sizes, to fit various regions of the body. For example: shoulders, arms, legs, and the lower back. HIVOX claims that you can wear it under clothing while exercising or sitting. Their second product is called the PennyPad, which uses TENS technology. For those that do not know what TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a technology that sends a safe electrical stimulation through the skin, into the brain to mask the neural transmission of pain. The PennyPad is a strong, yet safe solution to pain relief.

X2 Biosystems is a smart patch for contact sport athletes that can be placed behind the ear. It is small and flexible enough to be worn while wearing a helmet, but it is practical enough to be worn during any activity. The main goal of the XPatch is to recognize the force, and direction of an impact to the cranial region of an athlete; thus decreasing head injuries.  John D. Ralston, X2 Biosystems’ CEO, will be speaking at our next WT | Toronto Conference on Sept 10 at MaRS District Center! Be sure to register to learn more about X2 Biosystem’s technology.

Similarly Kenzen is a smart patch designed for individual or team sport athletes plus their coaches. This small, flexible sensor patch consist of ECHO monitor (a clip-in sensor) and the H2 Smart Patch.  You can place it anywhere that is comfortable for your body while doing sports. The ECHO monitor collects data on your hydration levels, lactic acid build-up, and calorie measurement. All of this data is of course sent straight to your handy-dandy smartphone where you can analysis and share your workout progress!

There are many more patches available then these 8 patches. WT has features them in past articles on cosmetics, lower back pain, temperature sensing, and even in 2012 with an article called Clever Plasters.  Check these out if you are interested! Then expect a patches market round-up from the great WT | Wearable Technologies within the next few weeks!