A new partnership between Henkel and Quad Industries, a Belgian specialist in printed electronics, is enabling innovations in smart health patches. The partners are offering a demo package of 12 electrodes that customers can order online. The package is designed to allow engineers to quickly test the functionalities of their concepts, significantly reducing the development time by up to three months and lowering the overall design costs.
One-Stop Shop for Innovation
In the medical industry, the demand for digital health solutions and remote patient monitoring is constantly increasing. Thus, the market of smart health patches is on a steep growth trajectory showcasing a high innovation level. To facilitate and further speed up the innovation process for smart patches, Henkel and Belgian scale-up Quad Industries are now offering a demo package that can be ordered online via the Henkel sample shop. With these patches, medical engineers have all they need to test their initial concepts, allowing them to move into the phase of custom design much sooner, in a more targeted way. This approach enables a more efficient design, saving at least one prototyping cycle and the respective time and cost invest., In addition, customers can find all relevant information and materials in a few clicks, where previously, they needed to coordinate with various suppliers, from design to production.
This new approach also represents a significant shift in the health patch value chain for Henkel. Stijn Gillissen, Global Manager for Printed Electronics at Henkel, explained, “With this unique offer of demo electrodes, we can really help to further boost the great innovations that are in the pipeline of many of today’s healthcare startups and electrode manufacturers. We strongly believe in the potential of this approach, enabling a new efficient way of product development in an industry that is in full expansion.”
Advanced Materials from Henkel
The initial focus of the demo electrode package is Electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring, as this is often linked to different disease profiles. ECG is not only used to check the rhythm of heartbeats, but also various other values like damage of heart muscle cells, the heart’s size or the function of implanted pacemakers. It is the ambition to further expand the functionalities in the near future with different metrics and to evolve towards a multifunctional design.
The electrodes contain five different Henkel materials, including a number of new products. The demo patches contain a dry electrode adhesive that ensures the crucial electrical contact with the skin. This adhesive provides a significant added value because the health patch can be worn for multiple days, which is often a challenge in traditional patches using hydrogels. In addition, the demo electrodes will also contain a novel conductive silver ink that facilitates the stretchability of the electrode. This is particularly important to make sure the electrical signal remains consistent at high quality while at the same time providing a high comfort level for the patient.
The mix of materials is based on the latest innovations to enable the design and development of thin, flexible and light-weight solutions for new smart patches or to provide an upgrade to existing technologies. Gillissen explained, “With this ready-made combination of our most advanced state-of-the-art materials, we aim to further drive technology development and strengthen the innovation capacity within digital healthcare.”
The demo patches are a joint design by Henkel and Quad Industries and will be produced by the latter. Both companies started partnering in 2019, and have collaborated several different projects, including in the area of digital health solutions such as the development of a smart sports tracking system. In 2020, Henkel and Quad Industries were also part of the consortium behind the development of the smart health patch that allowed the remote monitoring of the vital signs of COVID-19 patients. Based on these successful projects, Quad Industries became a strategic partner in Henkel´s ecosystem in 2021 for design creation, prototyping, and manufacturing of printed electronics via flatbed screen printing. Since then, the partners have tackled various projects together.
Learn more at www.henkel.com.