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:
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:
A bioreceptor that detects a body function or level of a biomarker and creates the related electrochemical or optical data.
A transducer that translates this raw data to an electrical signal that can communicate the biological information.
Electronic devices that amplify the signal and make it available to analytical software on
Benefits of Wearable Biosensors
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to protect the health of our population through safe products and services, we are always making sure that our graphics and electronic products align with their most recent guidelines. A new identification system known as the Unique Device Identifier (UDI) was developed by the FDA to properly mark and identify medical devices within the healthcare supply chain.
The UDI is a universal and worldwide system that allows for the quick identification of medical devices. All medical devices that are meant for use in the U.S. market will have a unique device identifier number on the label. Through the use of UDI’s, we can expect to see increased patient safety and efficiency, along with accurate and dependable treatment for patients. Additional benefits from the UDI system include a more secure distribution of medical devices and possible integration with electronic health records to better treat patients. Along with the UDI system, the FDA also started the Global Unique Identification Database (GUDID) to standardize identification procedures for devices in the UDI database.
While others in the industry may still only be beginning to transition, Techprint is at the forefront of innovation to incorporate the new UDI rule into medical labels. Our custom labels are designed and manufactured to be used in a variety of applications and are printed with high-quality durable materials.
We offer a variety of printing and finishing processes such as silkscreen-, flexographic, hot stamp thermal transfer, and digital to name a few. We print on a variety of materials; some include polycarbonate Lexan, steel, glass, and polyethylene. Techprint’s laminating, die-cutting, and converting capabilities provide the flexibility to meet any custom product requirements.
Techprint is an UL and CSA approved label manufacturer, and owns a variety of approved label constructions to meet any identification and labeling needs.
To learn more about our printing process, materials, and applications, please visit our website.
Is it possible to significantly reduce head injuries to football players (of all ages) with the right helmet technology? Thanks to the InSite head-impact monitoring system created by Riddell, the world’s leading manufacturer of football helmets, it just might be.
The highly-innovative system consists of three pieces to gather and analyze data that can help coaches better protect their athletes. The Riddell InSite Impact Response System is a new helmet-based impact monitoring technology designed to alert when significant single and multiple impacts are sustained during a football game or practice. Coaches and sideline staff will now have Riddell InSite’s unique vantage point inside the helmet at the time of contact to enable improved identification and management of concussion.
So what does this have to do with printed electronics, and specifically with Techprint? As experts in printing technology, fabrication, and assembly, we worked with the designers of the system to help bring the product to market, which is now in the manufacturing stage. We worked closely with their development partner, Simbex, to satisfy their needs of producing thousands of parts.
Our engineering and manufacturing knowledge and capabilities—including conductive printing, die cutting, laminating, fabricating, and electronic assembly—made us the ideal fit for this project. We took our experience and expertise, and manufactured the sensor piece for Riddell’s contract manufacturer, seamlessly working our capabilities into the process and helping to make the product a reality.
Addressing head injury and advancing player safety are paramount to the future of football. The potential that Riddell’s revolutionary system provides is very promising, and we here at Techprint are proud to be a part of it.
Riddell’s InSite Video, YouTube
“Under the Helmet” Video, YouTube
Durable enough to withstand harsh environmental conditions and low-profile enough to fit challenging form factors, membrane switches are customized to your design constraints. Membrane switches contain a graphic overlay, printed circuit, adhesive layer and an electrical connection that is activated by simply pressing a key.
Used in medical devices, security systems and, industrial controls, as well as the automotive market. Membranes switches can contain backlighting that incorporates LED technology and can be designed with either tactile or non-tactile-feedback (the clickiness of a button). The membrane switch has become the go to technology when a custom, durable and reliable user interface is required.
Since membrane switch are so versatile, they work well with many different applications. The graphic appearance of a membrane switch is limitless. From embossed features and keys, multiple colors, selective textures, integrated windows; the look and feel can meet specific application and market requirements. Polycarbonate and polyester material are used in most applications – but determining which will work better for an application is based on the attributes of the design. For example, for chemical resistant applications, polyester works best, but if something is temperature resistant then polycarbonate should be the material of choice. In an article written by Manufacturing.net, they’ve included a guide that contains parameters for selecting the right material based on certain attributes.
A membrane switch can be designed to fit your requirements for longevity, style, product appearance, and usability. Remember to include Techprint early in your design cycle to help guide your development process for a cost effective, and well designed solution.
Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems is an important technology right now, and that is especially true for medical devices. With rising healthcare costs and an increasing need for affordable, easy to use medical devices, HMI for medical equipment is becoming an ever-important trend in product design development.
Simply put, HMI systems provide the controls that allow a user to operate a machine or instrument. When done well, they create easy, reliable accessibility and make the function of technology simple and effective. According to this article in Product Design & Development, “the effectiveness of the HMI can affect the acceptance of the entire system; in fact in many applications it can impact the overall success or failure of a product.” Designing a good HMI system entails understanding the needs of everyone who will use it, knowing the key functional requirements, and integrating the best equipment and technology.
These days, our customers are coming to us for full design and manufacturing services, looking for a one-stop solution, and one of the many services we provide our customers with is custom design of keyboard interface devices, using HMI. This may include a touchpad, a tactile switch or any number of other unique key input technologies. We design LED back-lighting solutions to provide visual feedback to the input device. We first listen to our customer’s application requirements and then with our experience we can help recommend the correct technology. We are a supplier of EAO Switch, a leading provider of HMI products, for our custom keyboard products.
With our 40 years of knowledge and in-house engineering services, our capabilities include prototyping, 3D modeling, concept development as well as full production manufacturing. We also work as a UL agent for our clients requiring UL approval. Our emphasis on the latest technology and innovations, including HMI, means new product development for our customers is reliable, cutting edge and modern, making their products not only of the highest quality, but highly competitive and forward thinking.
It’s no secret that manufacturing is returning to the U.S. in a major way—there are countless stories in all the major newspapers providing evidence of this, and even the President, in his state of the union address, pointed out examples of this long-awaited return. As a company who has been lucky to have been experiencing growth throughout the ups and downs of the manufacturing sector, and in the medical marketplace in particular, we at Techprint are excited to see the manufacturing renaissance unfold, and are proud to be a part of it.
In a recent article in Business Insider , Hugh C. Walsh, president of DSM North America, points out the reasons why manufacturing jobs are returning. And why the U.S. is now, as he states, “at the epicenter of the next industrial and innovation revolution.” The reasons he lists are: cheap and abundant natural gas; innovation; rule of law; human capital; de-complexity; public policy and abundance; and credit, currency, and the coming wave of mergers and acquisitions.
While all reasons are significant, here we’d like to focus on innovation. We are a company that prides itself on innovation, staying current, employing the most skilled experts in printed electronics, and moving forward with the times. We take innovation, for the sake of our products and our customers, seriously.
We also know the importance of providing customers with quality products with faster turnarounds and better, more personal service than overseas manufacturers. Everyone is working in a just-in-time environment, therefore it’s important to have flexibility in order to provide products on-time, and when the customer needs it. Lean manufacturing is also important in order to create value for customers. We are personally seeing the return of manufacturing to U.S. shores, and we know why.
We look forward to the future of manufacturing, as a company and a country.
Techprint is excited to announce the addition of new fully Automatic High Precision Screen Press to our equipment inventory. This state-of-the-art screen printing equipment has extremely precise controls that offer unmatched level of quality and capabilities.
Our new screen printer is a sheet fed press. That means we will be able to print on a much larger range of materials including plastics, polyester, polycarbonate, polystyrene, polyethylene, Tyvek, Kapton, and acrylic. Great features of our new screen press equipment include:
We can precisely print conductive materials such as; silver, silver chloride, and carbon to meet your unique needs.
Medical printed electrodes and circuits
We can produce high quality electrodes and circuits, custom to your specifications.
We can print on materials as thin as .003” thick with precise registration controls.
The screen press contains full UV curing capabilities as well as conventional conveyor gas drying.
High speed printing
Our high-speed printer is capable of hi-volume repeatable production.
Techprint has always offered the best in screen, flexographic, and digital printing, and our new equipment adds to our already expansive array of capabilities. To learn more about our Automatic High Precision Cylinder Screen Press, please contact one of our knowledgeable representatives at 978-975-1245. Or email email@example.com.
We’ve been producing printed electronic products for nearly 20 years, and as a result, have seen the industry flourish from a niche market to one that is servicing manufacturers throughout a multitude of industries. We began printing durable product identifications on plastic films, and today, we’ve expanded our capabilities to produce numerous printing and converting processes including screen-print, flexographic, hot-stamp, digital, pad-print, laminating, laser cutting, and many more!
Our team includes engineers with R&D expertise in plastics, conductive materials, electronics, and product development. We’re known for our screen-printing expertise. In fact, we have some of the most cutting-edge screen-printing equipment in-house!
Techprint has the capability to manufacture your prototypes through high-volume manufacturing.
We have over ten different in-house printing processes that offer our customers several product offerings. That makes Techprint a one-stop-shop for printed electronics from start to finish. We provide printing, converting, and assembly processes for keyboards, membrane switches, circuits, biosensors, electrodes, batteries, antennas, pressure sensors and heaters that are used in a wide range of medical devices.
In addition to our expertise in printed electronics, we’re known for unmatched quality control and customer service. Our technicians are experts in the field, and 100% test all of our products to meet our customer’s specifications. We also offer complete product traceability, which is ideal for customers in the medical device industry.
As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, you can count on Techprint to design and manufacture printed electronic products for the medical, industrial, instrumentation, and security markets – with a company-wide commitment to quality. Take a look at the printed electronics page of our website for an in-depth look at what we can do, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your next project.
Laser cutting is special to what we do because it provides quick, high tolerance cutting, and is the most flexible cutting technology for several applications. Our expertise in providing the right combination of cut variables allows for accuracy, and high-repeatability. Laser cutting equipment can produce products such as printed circuits, graphic overlays and membrane switches.
At Techprint, our new 250 watt laser is higher speed and higher capacity. Laser cutting is known to be slow and short run based, but our new equipment is quicker and more production-based. It can handle medium to high-volume applications, and has the flexibility to cut a wide variety of materials including polyester, polycarbonate, polyimide, acrylic and adhesives. Special features:
High Accuracy– The optical camera registration system allows for precision cutting tolerances and adjustability. The 250 watt laser removes minimal material enabling closer nesting and intricate cutting.
No Tooling and Quick Set-up. Eliminates tooling costs and provides flexibility in design changes.
Manufacturing Capabilities- Printing, Die cutting, laminating, embossing, rotary die cutting, slitting, sheeting, fabrication and contract assembly.
CAD / CAM Support- Design assistance, prototype, short run production, high volume production, and inspection / quality control.
Our graphic and engineering design personnel will work with you to determine which product design will work best for you. Techprint provides the most up-to-date technology, along with complete converting and finishing options. Our processes adhere to ISO 9001:2008, UL, CSA, IPC, ESD, and RoHS Compliant standards.
For more information on Techprint’s new Laser Cutting Equipment, please visit www.techprintinc.com.