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Solid State Batteries for Medical Applications

Application Note: Solid State Batteries for Medtech 

Introduction

The healthcare sector, or Medtech, is changing to embrace the interconnectivity of the Internet of Things for more proactive patient health management. This has created a demand for remote patient monitoring, with devices needed to monitor and report vital data to central healthcare providers. IoT Healthcare sector revenues are forecast to be around $300Bn by 2020 (Visiongain, 2014). Improved interaction with the patient by providing smart technology requires medical devices that can:

  • Improve patient experience by remote monitoring without need to visit place of care.
  • Help patients to self-serve by being able to use more sophisticated devices to look after their condition better themselves.
  • Improve reaction time for changes in conditions, plus the distribution and optimisation of medicines.
  • Providing larger amounts of information (Big Data) to improve knowledge and treatment of conditions.

These smart devices may by external (low power wearables) or internal, implantable or ingestible devices that may be used to collect patient data or support drug delivery through 4 stages of patient care (Deloitte, 2015)

  • Prevention and well-being: To detect in advance, through the deployment of wearable devices for example, individuals who may be at risk of developing chronic pain.
  • Chronic pain: To empower individuals with, say, diabetes or heart- problems to take better care of their condition.
  • Acute pain: To provide the health provider with large amounts of useful data rapidly when patients are admitted to intensive-care units.
  • Post-acute pain: To empower the patient to monitor the effectiveness or possible complications of acute treatment in the more relaxed and less costly home environment.

Wireless Body Area Networks (WBAN) is an increasingly talked about area in medical circles. How it can impact patient care & predict medical emergencies prior to them happening, providing an early warning system for patients with illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma is of great interest to health care providers globally.

A WBAN is a wireless network that includes sensors that are either implanted in, or worn by, the user which can all be networked. The increase in the range of wearable devices looking at factors such as heart rate, blood pressure and activity levels makes this networking approach more feasible and with a lower implementation cost. The WBAN will typically comprise two main parts: miniaturised body sensor units (BSU), which work together with a body central unit (BCU).

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.