Expectations of healthcare systems worldwide continue to grow. We now demand more than just ‘a pill for every ill’; we seek the continuous provision of care through ‘connected’ technologies.
PA’s technology team has developed a way to help healthcare providers offer just this level of service, by building a low-cost, body-worn healthcare sensor that can remotely monitor a patient’s critical health indicators as well as check whether they have taken their medication. This information is then sent securely to a physician or caregiver, enabling better levels of monitoring, improved quality of care and, importantly, reduced costs.
How we designed the healthcare patch
While remote monitoring and the concept of telehealth is not new, our approach has been different. Our focus on ‘patient first’ led us to design a sensor system so small it can be worn, unobtrusively, in the form of a patch no bigger than a plaster. Wearing the healthcare patch does not require any change in the patient's behaviour and allows them to get on with their lives, assured that their health is being monitored.
By starting with a focus on the patient, our creative approach makes use of simple technology to meet patients' needs. As cost is critical in making the business case for these devices, we have proved that the healthcare patch can be manufactured for considerably less than a daily newspaper, and at speeds that match the fastest mobile-phone production lines.
In developing our healthcare patch, we have exploited some widely available technologies that are in use in smartphones to provide much smaller, wearable, cheaper options than those previously available.
How telehealth will transform the relationship with patients
The result of this work is that our clients in pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies now have the technology to truly transform their relationship with patients. This is only the start as the potential uses of these types of sensors are huge, from monitoring more conditions to checking workers in dangerous jobs such as mining and firefighting.
It is clear from all these applications that by being creative with simple technologies, we can both change the business dynamic for pharmaceutical companies and improve health outcomes.
To find out more about our work developing healthcare devices to support telehealth solutions, please contact us now.