Telemedicine was already on the rise even before COVID-19 hit. However, it’s one thing for a medical professional to consult with a patient virtually – it’s a bigger challenge to perform diagnostics and monitoring from a distance.
As our population grows and ages, along with the increasing rates of chronic health issues, our healthcare system is at risk of being overwhelmed. One strategy to keep up with demand and reduce overall cost is with remote patient monitoring.
What is remote patient monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology improves the portability, comfort, and connectivity of traditional medical devices. These devices can be used in a healthcare setting but their full potential is realized outside of these facilities; specifically in patients’ homes.
The adoption of RPM will improve the capacity, convenience, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. Patients can spend less time in hospitals (or other medical facilities), while still enjoying peace of mind that their provider is keeping an eye on their health information. When paired with smarter health analytics, RPM can also contribute to better health outcomes and improved quality of life.
For in-home monitoring, this is especially important for certain patient populations, such as those with chronic diseases, infants, patients undergoing surgery, and patients recently discharged from medical care. RPM devices can be used for a wide range of purposes, including measuring weight, glucose level, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, movement, oxygen, medication tracking, and more.
Advantages of Flexible Printed Electronics
Remote patient monitoring requires innovation to make medical devices as compact, lightweight, and comfortable as possible. At the same time, products must be designed with cost and manufacturability in mind to realistically bring to market. Flexible printed electronics address all these challenges and provide additional design benefits.
Flexible printed electronics involve printed conductive inks on pliable materials to create electronic circuits. This approach can replace rigid circuit boards, which add bulk, material cost, and manufacturing steps.
In addition to being smaller, lighter, and cost-efficient, printed electronics allow for new, exciting design opportunities, including flexible form factors, wearable or stick-to-skin capabilities, and wireless connectivity. Plus, with advancements in materials, the durability of printed electronics can compete or sometimes even outperform traditional copper circuitry.
Potential applications of flexible printed electronics include:
- Printed sensors
- Electronic skin patches
- Smart packaging
Custom Converting for Flexible Printed Electronics
It’s not a stretch to say that remote patient monitoring is the future of our medical system. To incorporate flexible printed electronics in your design, it’s critical to have a manufacturing partner who is equipped and experienced in these nuanced components.
At Tapecon, we are uniquely positioned to bring your RPM device to life with flexible printed electronics – from design consultation to materials selection (including stick-to-skin adhesives and conductive inks) to printing to custom converting. We also have a proven track record producing medical devices in our ISO 13485 certified and FDA Registered facility.
Get Started with Remote Patient Monitoring Devices
At Tapecon, we have over 100 years of experience helping customers solve their complex product challenges. Learn more about our flexible printed electronics applications.