Traditional skin patches have been used for routine medical purposes including fixation of medical devices, simple drug release, and wound management. However, traditional medical patches are bulkier and wire-laden The often require conductive gels, tapes, and mechanical clamps. These can hinder patient compliance, limiting their use over extended time periods.
This is a space that has been calling out for innovation. It has generated significant attention from investors and researchers over the past five years.
GlobalData expects that miniaturisation and lower costs of development will be important. This is because it will create a surge for wearable sensors in healthcare, resulting in significant market growth. Currently, leaders in the space include small companies such as iRhythm, based in San Francisco. iRhythm has launched its Zio single-use patch to monitor heart rhythms for up to 14 days remotely.
Listed below are the leading companies in skin patches for healthcare, as identified by GlobalData.
BioTelemetry is a wireless medical technology company. They are focused on providing monitoring services and digital population health management in a healthcare setting. This includes medical device manufacturing and centralised core laboratory services for clinical research. The company offers various services and solutions to cardiologists and electrophysiologists. They provide them with a single source of cardiac monitoring services. These include mobile cardiac telemetry service (MCT), wireless and trans telephonic event. They also provide traditional Holter, extended-wear Holter, pacemaker, and International Normalised Ratio (INR) monitoring.
The company is also engaged in developing, manufacturing, testing, and marketing medical devices. The company has operations in the US and the UK.
Eccrine Systems Inc is a provider of a wearable device that measures drug and biomarker levels excreted in sweat.
Epicore Biosystems is a provider of a single-use sweat analytics system for athletes. Its technology includes a sweat microfluidic sensing platform that is “skin-like.” It is low-cost, and capable of analysing small droplets of sweat directly from the skin. Epicore has been working with Gatorade to commercialise its technology. They are in the process of launching the microfluidic Gx Sweat Patch.
Biolinq is a privately-owned medical device company based in the US. They have developed a proprietary sensor system and incorporated it into their wearable continuous glucose monitors.
Gentag is a medical device company that patents and develops wireless sensor technology products. The company provides products to diagnostics and personal health. It also offers wireless sensor network services. Gentag’s products comprise medication and packaging sensors, diagnostic skin patches, immunoassays, cell phone home monitoring solutions systems, cell phone sensors, NFC cell phones, and radar responsive tags, among others.
The company offers solutions for hospital discharge kits, radiation, phone immunoassays, chemical and biological detection, and cell phone applications, among others. Its RFID technology is used in the areas of radar responsive tag, asthma prevention, diagnostics, and diabetes, among others.
Medtronic Plc (Medtronic), formerly Medtronic Inc, is a medical technology company that designs, develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of medical devices. They offer solutions for the treatment of heart failure; heart valve disorders; coronary artery, aorta, peripheral vascular, venous renal, and neurological diseases. They also cover spine and musculoskeletal disorders; and diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. It also provides biologic solutions for the orthopaedic and dental markets.
In the US, the company sells its products through a direct sales force. In other countries they work through direct sales representatives and independent distributors. It serves hospitals, third-party healthcare providers, clinics and institutions. These include governmental healthcare programmes, distributors, and group purchasing organisations in the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa.
Nemaura Medical is a UK-based company that develops smart patches for continuous monitoring of multiple health conditions, including diabetes.
PKvitality is the manufacturer of a smartwatch that contains continuous glucose monitoring capability.
Theranica is an Israeli company that specialises in non-invasive, wearable neuromodulation devices for the treatment of migraines.
iRhythm Technologies is a digital healthcare solutions company. It provides non-invasive long-term cardiac rhythm monitors. The company develops the Zio family of products and solutions to address the clinical needs of patients suffering from arrhythmias. iRhythm’s product offerings include Zio XT and Zio AT Patch, a long-term cardiac rhythm monitors. Zio XT service is a long-term continuous cardiac monitor that detects arrhythmias including AFib. The company offers ZIO Service in the US to physicians, hospitals, and clinics through a direct sales organisation.
This is an edited extract from the Wearable Technology in Healthcare – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.