Ageing population, increasing incidence of chronic diseases, costly chronic disease management, depleting healthcare resources drive an urgent need in healthcare transformation, including hospital to home transition, drastic efforts in prevention and promoting optimal health.
Medical wearable devices such as e.g. wearable patches for monitoring biometric data (activity, sleep) and vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate, oxygen saturation) deliver generic value for key chronic diseases and prevention thereof. Next, non-invasive sensing modalities, such as ultrasound and light, implemented in a wearable form, offer ample opportunities for generating relevant health-related data.
To deliver value for patients, doctors and citizens, wearable medical device shall:
- provide high quality medical grade data, real-time
- enable long term monitoring >> weeks
- assure patient comfort & compliance
- embrace design for modularity, i.e. integration of relevant sensors and acquisition of relevant multiple parameters (at the time)
Creating successful innovations in wearable medical devices requires a well-orchestrated collaboration in an eco-system with partners across the entire value chain, including medical device manufacturers, developers of materials, electronics manufacturers, software companies, universities and research centers, healthcare professionals, regulatory bodies, insurance providers, just to name a few.
“Adding years to life and life to years” requires fully embracing a modernized understanding of health as a physical, mental, social, spiritual well-being and acting on it at a societal level, where dramatically more innovation is an essential success enabler.
Natallia Uzunbajakava, TNO Holst Centre