Wearables are booming – forecast to double in size in the coming three years from currently 200 million units annually. Wristables, i.e. smart watches or sports trackers, are the most common wearables today. Going forward, Covestro expects wearable patches to take off, as they’re flat, flexible and non-invasive. Wearable Technologies estimates the global wearable patch market to reach an annual sales value of 4.4 billion USD by 2020 (1). Market affordability and user acceptance are the main challenges.
Covestro is positioned at the forefront of this development, addressing these unmet needs. Leveraging its long experience in the medical industry with regard to patient’s comfort and converter processing efficiency (speed, flexibility and cost), Covestro enables wearable patch development with its know-how and roll-stock thermoplastic materials.
Prototype for medical diagnostics
At Compamed, Covestro will show a working prototype of a smart patch, packed with sensors, measuring humidity, temperature, e.g. discomfort-index or heat-stroke alarm, furthermore geo-magnetics, acceleration, pressure, e.g. fall-down alarm, environmental stress meter, and UV/ambient light.
With a growing population, longer life expectancy, and the rise of the middle class, patches will become more important for medical diagnostics and treatments.
Covestro is a full solution provider of customized polyurethane films and raw materials for adhesives and foams to address both the patch fixation and embedding of electronics functions.
Customized product solutions
Platilon® TPU blown film is sought after for its comfort, e.g. breathability, stretch, soft haptics, hypoallergenics, design (e.g. printable, colors) and customisation to fit the converter’s production process, e.g. thickness range, tailored carriers and release force. Additional functionality includes low melting (95-105 deg C) or water vapor barrier.
Baymedix® adhesives are skin-friendly, breathable and solvent-free. The peel strength can be adjusted for low trauma removal. Baymedix® thermoplastic foam is used for direct embedding of sensitive electronics. The roll-stock process replaces wet chemistry, enabling faster prototyping and modular production. The breathable white foam has gentle haptics, and can be processed with heat and pressure.
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of 2015 employed approximately 15,800 people (full-time equivalents).
Find more information at www.covestro.com.
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