Category Archive: Medical Devices

Wearable Biosensors in Medical Applications

Achieving cooperation from even the most willing patients can be a challenge for medical professionals. Patients don’t always report their symptoms accurately and may fail to conduct prescribed monitoring tests at home. What’s more, many patients ignore or deny the initial signs of a health problem even when getting immediate care could improve their condition.

Biosensors present a viable solution to many of these challenges. Wearable electronic devices embedded in everyday objects can monitor a patient’s vital signs and detect important biological anomalies. For example:

  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood/Oxygen levels
  • Temperature

As medical costs drive prevention and early diagnosis, identifying and monitoring risk factors is key to reducing the cost of patient care. Real time monitoring holds the promise of improving patient outcomes by making the patient at stakeholder in their own care and treatment.

Medical biosensors can expedite identifying changes in physiology resulting in proactive, earlier treatment. With recent advances in technology, monitoring devices can be deployed with less cost than outpatient care. Burgeoning growth is expected through 2025, growing to $20 billion.

What is a Wearable Biosensor?

An electronic device that can continuously and non-invasively monitor and transmit physiological information qualifies as a biosensor, such as a smartwatch or athletic band that monitors heart rate. Advanced sensors can track targeted bio-markers resulting in better clinical understanding of disease.

Components of Wearable Biosensors

There are three main components of any medical biosensor:

  1. A bioreceptor that detects a body function or level of a biomarker and creates the related electrochemical or optical data.
  2. A transducer that translates this raw data to an electrical signal that can communicate the biological information.
  3. Electronic devices that amplify the signal and make it available to analytical software on

Benefits of Wearable Biosensors

Remote monitoring

Wearers don’t have to regularly connect to a computer to download information. The data is sent wirelessly for continuous control. There is less action required by the patient.

Patient buy-in

When people can monitor their own health markers, they are more proactive in their care. It also helps them to better adhere to prescribed medications and routines.

Better communication

Doctors don’t have to rely on a patient’s recollection or ability to describe how they felt—they can look at the data instead. This helps patients and doctors work together in personalizing treatment plans.

Early detection

Health issues can often be addressed before they balloon into a crisis. For example, warning signs like high blood pressure or irregular heartbeats can be detected and diagnosed.

Better medical records

Acquired data is saved for comparison in the future, and becomes part of the patient’s  medical record, thus reducing the need for retesting and the infrastructure to support it. Treatment and care is more immediate and reduces the burden on hospitals and clinics.

Wearable Biosensors in the Medical & Healthcare Industry

As screen-printed electrodes continue to make wearable biosensor devices smaller and able to provide more targeted data, the list of potential applications has increased dramatically. Today, we see medical professionals using wearable health monitoring for:

  • Tracking heart rates in cardiac patients even after they have been discharged from the hospital.
  • Monitoring stress levels in people with challenging occupations, such as military, law enforcement, miners, firefighters, and more.
  • Checking athlete health before, during, and after physical activity to ensure continued wellbeing and improve performance.
  • Monitoring vital signs in premature and newborn babies.
  • Observing wound healing and ensuring that there are no signs of infection.

In addition, wearable biosensors are finding their way into many new technologies, such as:

  • Smart watches, rings, and bracelets that check heart rate and pulse, among other vital signs.
  • Google smart lenses
  • Wearable glucose sensors that monitor blood sugar levels for diabetics.
  • Patches and temporary tattoos that contain biosensors for continuously monitoring vital signs in hospitals and at home.
  • Smart shirts and vests that detect vitals, activity levels, or damage such as bullet holes or wounds for law enforcement and military soldiers.
  • Q Sensors that detect subtle biological changes in autistic children to identify emotional shifts.

Screen Printed Electrode Biosensors from Techprint

Techprint is a leader in developing and manufacturing custom printed electrodes integrated into many wearable medical devices. We assist medical OEMs, product development firms, and biomedical contract manufacturers to create effective sensors and medical electrodes that detect biological and physical markers in patients. We are also an ISO 9001-2015, TUV-certified design and manufacturing facility.

To learn more about the services we offer, request more information or contact us today.

Rising Demand for X-Ray and Other Diagnostic Devices

As technology advances, it tends to get smaller and more portable. More efficient designs also mean that prices frequently come down over the years, improving accessibility. In the medical field, this is the case with modern diagnostic equipment.
As the cost to see a doctor continues to rise, greater attention has been drawn to portable, at-home diagnostic devices. As an example, smart watches and fitness trackers are often used to track heart rate, sleep habits, and sometimes even blood pressure. These vital signs can then be monitored and sent to a patient’s doctor for review.
Additional portable devices can check things like glucose levels, infections and diseases, cholesterol, and more. Having the ability to check for these health markers at home, or even in a smaller clinic provides a considerable cost and time saving over going to the hospital or scheduling a doctor’s appointment for each test.
These portable diagnostic devices also make it easier to provide care to populations in rural or less developed areas. If the nearest hospital is hundreds of miles away, there is a major benefit to having this type of equipment on-hand nearby. Even if a hospital stay is needed, knowing what problem is ahead of time can improve patient outcomes by cutting down on the time needed to find a diagnosis.
Even X-ray equipment is advancing with more portable options to keep up with growing demand. For patients with limited mobility, portable X-ray devices can be brought to the bed-side for quick and easy imaging. Similarly, CT scans, which offer a more detailed internal view of the body, are also becoming more portable to allow for more convenient use.
As the aging population continues to grow and incidences of chronic illness continue to rise, these types of imaging technology are evolving to meet the changing needs.
Techprint is an experienced engineering firm with experience designing high-tech equipment in the medical space. We’ve been seeing more interest from healthcare related companies, and are happy to help bring new concepts to life. Request information to see how we can help you with your projects.

TechPrint Helps the Growing Wearable Medical Devices Market

In 2014, the wearable medical devices market took in around $2.7 billion dollars and is expected to grow in large proportions by the year 2023. Estimates are suggesting the market will reach $10 billion dollars by that year globally.
Concept of connected health and fitness tracker and devices
Although there are numerous devices that are manufactured in this market, the largest growth rate is found in heart rate monitors and many of the devices are used for home health care. Two of the main reasons the wearable medical devices market is expected to grow is because of the latest in innovation and the many people who use these devices. Although some devices can be prescribed by doctors, many people who take their health seriously use them in an effort to better understand and maintain their own bodies. This demographic tends to be tech-savvy, health conscious, and in the higher income brackets. Those people on the lower income side enjoy the same type of products, but typically tend to look for cheaper models.
Also growing in popularity is non-invasive diagnostic devices.  These are a type of wearable used in the biosensor market to gather medical information from patients.  Examples of this include devices that can monitor and map areas of the body including cardiac monitoring and brain waves.  This technology is vital to managing the health of the aging population, and will only become more important as technology continues to improve.  The sensors and electrodes that gather this data is one of the most important parts of these diagnostic devices, and is an area where Techprint can assist manufacturers.
Techprint is a custom designer and manufacturer of specialty graphics and printed electronic products. Our capabilities include the ability to design and produce custom printed electrodes and biosensor products, including those in the non-invasive diagnostic wearable medical devices market. TechPrint is able to design and produce the right product for most any device. Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs and learn more how we can help you with your wearable device development.

New FDA Stand-Alone Symbols on Labels Regulations

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled in favor of allowing companies to use graphical representation without added text on their products. This was done in part to bring more American companies in line with symbols that are currently being used in European and foreign markets. As more countries begin to use the graphic symbols, there will be increased cohesion between markets. The new ruling will go into effect on September 13, 2016.

Along with cohesion across markets, the FDA believes the new labeling will also save companies money in the long term. Instead of changing labeling over the years, the symbols will remain the same without a need to redesign a new one. The FDA has estimated medical device manufacturers will save between $7.7 and $25.5 million dollars over the course of 20 years.

The Standards Development Organization (SDO) has established labeling without explanatory text. If a company uses these symbols there will be further cohesion as they will be more convenient for companies to use, and it will give companies the ability to conserve resources. Should a company choose to use their own symbols, they are encouraged to make sure consumers will fully understand the symbols used. If there is any confusion; the company will be liable for any adverse events that occur due to misunderstanding of their symbol.

Along with each product, companies must also provide a glossary of the symbols and a description of where to find the glossary. Companies can further save money by offering the glossary online so they don’t need to worry about additional printing costs. This new FDA ruling gives companies an opportunity to save money in the future when they switch to a graphic symbol. Techprint

At Techprint we offer custom design and manufacturing for specialty graphics and printed electronic products.  We also offer sheet fed screen printing and roll to roll screen printing and converting to satisfy any label design requirements. To find out how Techprint’s capabilities can meet your needs, contact us.

Medical Device Development Assistance and Manufacturing Incubators

The medical care industry is rapidly expanding due to the largest segment of the population aging and requiring medical assistance.  This has led to many companies working on developing new medical devices that will improve care and allow patients to get the treatment they need at reasonable and affordable prices.  Developing these new medical devices can be very expensive though, so manufacturing incubators and development centers backed by investors and venture capitalists have formed to assist in the process.

Who is helping?

For companies who are working on new innovative medical devices, there are many options available to get assistance for funding and product development.  Manufacturing incubators are one option for help.  These incubators can provide the cash and expertise to manage the process of developing and releasing new medical devices.  By working with these incubator groups, costly mistakes in development can be avoided as they have the experience in getting new medical device hardware to market.  One example is Bolt, a venture capital firm and manufacture incubator that is designed to help medical device startups with their early stage hardware and software development.

Another option is working with a university development center.  One such development center is M2D2 – the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center which is an UMass Lowell-UMass Worcester initiative that works with medical device developers to move medical device ideas from patent to production.  By working with M2D2 companies and entrepreneurs get access to state-of- the-art facilities and equipment that they may normally not be able to use.  They also provide access to experienced staffers who can provide guidance in prototyping and product development, and business feasibility among other areas.

EnterpriseWorks is another university owned development center operated by the University of Illinois to help launch startup companies.  Its clients have been based in the biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development and materials sciences industries.  With a 43,000 SF incubator facility with labs, offices and common space, all the needs of startup entrepreneurs can be met.

Northeastern University also has a student-led venture accelerator called IDEA that supports entrepreneurs in the Northeastern community.  Resources available include gap and prototype funding, as well as support from an entrepreneur in residence, and an investor network who are available to advise and finance ventures.  Clients they work with are from a variety of industries including software, food and beverage, and consumer products among many others.

Techprint and Medical Device OEMS

At Techprint we work with OEMS in the medical device market.  Medical device customers account for almost half of our business, giving us the experience and capabilities to provide custom products for all OEMS, both new startups and established manufacturers.  We have the in-house manufacturing equipment capable of building prototypes and all of the equipment for full-scale production.  From product concept development through the entire product lifecycle, we can provide the assistance you need to make it a success.  Contact us here for more information on the high quality products we can provide and the services we offer.

THE MEDICAL DEVICE TECHNOLOGIES MARKET IS GROWING GLOBALLY

Growth in the medical devices market always stirs with conflicting emotions. On one hand it stands for the fact that the use of these technologies is becoming more rampant pointing to the rise of chronic and acute diseases. On the other it reflects advancements in medicine and the promise of better care and healing for patients.
The global market for medical device technologies is expanding at a fast pace. By 2020 this space will boast a cumulative value of $428,970 million. Of this the United States lays claim to a large chunk of 39% making it a significant market player.
The Top 10 Medical Device Technologies:
Segmented by type, the following technologies comprise the Top 10 Devices list:

  • IVD devices or calibrators, reagents and kits that facilitate medical procedures in receptacles or test tubes outside the patient’s body.
  • Cardiology devices related to heart centric medical procedures covering both tests and surgeries.
  • Diagnostic imaging devices like X-Rays, CAT and PET scan equipment and MRI set-ups.
  • Orthopedic devices that diagnose and treat defects and problems with the musculoskeletal system.
  • Ophthalmology devices that cover the gamut from lenses and glasses to lasers and surgical instruments for delicate eye related operations.
  • Endoscopy devices that allow surgeons and doctors to probe into the inner cavities and passageways of the human body without surgery.
  • Diabetes care devices that help diabetics monitor their blood sugar and glucose levels and administer the required, measured insulin dosages without seeking medical assistance.
  • Wound Management devices that help sterilize, treat and heal superficial wounds. These generally come packaged in kits.
  • Kidney/dialysis devices that take care of a wide range of nephrology issues.
  • Anesthesia & respiratory care devices which include asthma inhalers, bi-pap machines and ventilators.

Why This Growth Spurt?
According to experts there are many reasons that have driven this sudden and phenomenal growth in the medical device technologies market. Stressful lifestyles are leading to an epidemic of hypertension, thyroid, diabetes and other chronic diseases. The ageing, geriatric population requires constant care and attention boosting production of at-home monitoring equipment.
At Techprint Incorporated we have the capabilities to provide custom products for OEMS in the medical device market. Take a look at our website to see our full capabilities list, or connect with us at 800-225-2538 to learn more about our services.

What Does the Suspension of the Medical Device Tax Mean for the Industry?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implemented in 2013 included a medical device excise tax which imposed a 2.3% tax on domestic sales of medical devices. The tax, paid for by the manufacturers or importers, was expected to generate billions of dollars to support healthcare but the revenues fell short and the tax took its toll on manufacturers and the industry.
tax
The tax was suspended in December with the signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 and a 2-year moratorium on the tax is in effect from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Now that the tax is on hold, how will the industry react?
Research and consulting firm GlobalData took a look at this and believes that small and mid-sized companies will benefit greatly from the suspension. The tax was very costly to smaller companies who cut research and development efforts, laid off workers, and reduced plans for expansion. Funds companies would have invested into product development and innovation were redirected to pay the tax.
Now that this issue is on hold, the industry is already seeing investments being put back into product portfolios and building businesses back up to pre-tax levels. Medical device companies in all sectors are looking to hire new workers to fill newly created jobs.
The money manufacturers would have paid to the tax is now an investment in adding jobs, improving product research, and increasing sales. With additional money being directed to Research & Development, the industry and the consumer benefit. To develop life-saving medical technologies, companies require operating revenue to grow and advance new technologies.
The positive reaction from industry leaders and government officials may lead to a permanent repeal of the tax once the suspension period is over. With additional funds available, we can expect to see medical device companies returning to the business of innovation and technological advancements that benefit us all. At Techprint, we are looking to take advantage of this by providing custom products for OEMS in the medical device market. Medical device customers account for 40% of our business so we are glad to see this tax suspended for our customers. Take a look at our website for our full capabilities.