2 ways adhesive technologies from Henkel help make the healthcare industry smarter and more reliable

Innovative medical devices are improving disease diagnosis and patient treatment

Adhesive Technologies Sep 13, 2023

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Whether it be smart watches that track our sleep, fitness trackers that remind us to get our daily steps, or heart rate and blood oxygen monitors that provide early warning to consumers, wearables allow us to easily live healthy lives by providing continuous health feedback without the cost and inconvenience of frequent check-ups. The potential of such devices goes beyond improving training performance or general health. These smart technologies can support health professionals in patient diagnosis making healthcare safer, more reliable, and more available. The experts at Henkel are dedicated to the mission of supporting next generation wearables that improve the quality of life for all types of patients but especially those with chronic disease. Henkel has expertise on a vast array of materials and manufacturing technologies enabling medical devices to become smaller, less invasive, and lower cost for at home or remote use.

Here, we are introducing two examples of how adhesive technologies make the healthcare industry smarter and more reliable, improving the lives of current and future generations.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring helps diabetes patients

A young woman is stretching her arm preparing for exercise with a continuous glucose monitoring patch attached to her upper right arm.

Self-monitoring can increase the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic diseases, while allowing more accurate treatment.

When it comes to chronic diseases, allowing for patient comfort and less invasive devices is a key challenge for healthcare professionals. Self-monitoring, in the case of diabetes for example, can be done through continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), where sensors measure blood sugar levels of their patients and displays the data on a reader device. Such devices need to provide reliable and accurate diagnostics to ensure that treatment is effective. Combining design expertise with close customer collaboration resulted in a device that is smaller than previous ones. This makes it easier to handle for patients, allowing them to closely monitor their glucose levels and react with timely insulin injections. Henkel’s conductive sensing materials and skin-grade adhesives are a key enabler for reliable CGM skin patches. And with this sensor, glucose levels are not only monitored accurately in real-time, but consequently patients have to spend less money on insulin.

Smart health patches support data-driven healthcare

A young woman attaches a smart health patch to her right upper arm.

Smart health patches can improve patient comfort as they allow them to remain at home while reducing the number of doctor visits or hospitalizations.

So-called smart health patches address the increasing demand for digital health solutions and remote patient monitoring. They can remotely monitor patient heartrate, respiration rate, blood oxygen, and other human body functions. Thanks to an on-skin sensor, the miniature hardware tracks relevant data, sending information to, for example, nursing staff on when to move a patient to avoid bedsores. This is possible thanks to the solutions for printed electronics that our experts at Adhesive Technologies have developed with partners over the last years. Printable materials that contain electrically conductive particles can be printed on a wide range of substrates for various sensing functions used in medical patches. Henkel also provides a selection of skin-grade pressure sensitive adhesives to anchor devices to the skin with an easy peal and stick option. These patches increase comfort levels for patients, allowing them to stay at home, while reducing the number of visits to doctors' offices or hospitals. The collection of long-term medical data can also support the healthcare professionals in diagnostics and treatment, and even lead to lower costs or fewer cases of hospitalization.