The challenge of attaching the device to the skin in a conformable manner, while using medical grade materials, is critical to the success of the product.
Hello Edith and thank you for being with us today. Can you please tell our readers what is your company’s expertise?
Thank you for inviting me. Our expertise at Med-S2T is to assist medical device R&D teams and developers of wearable devices, to address the element of the skin-interface component in their device. This is what we call Skin-to-Thing solution and it is truly a critical aspect in the development and success of the entire product. This is our unique expertise and niche.
Can you please describe the relevance of your work to the Covid19 Pandemic?
Of course. Covid19 has reinforced some recent years’ trends, such as affordable remote monitoring and out-of-hospital care. In this ‘social distance’ era we all live in, the use of wearable medical devices is even more crucial. These are enabling early detection by monitoring vital signs and can even provide protection and self-care.
High-risk populations, such as elderly, or patients with suppressed immune system, need to cope safely and effectively with their underlying chronic diseases and medical conditions. Instead of going to clinics and hospitals, where they might be exposed to health risks, and where they will need the assistance of professional medical staff, these patients must be able to receive the treatments in the safety of their homes or in isolated sites.
They can check their heart, blood pressure, or even heart arrhythmias, and inject their medication on their own, using drug-delivery-devices such as infusion-pumps. Doing so is not only keeping them safe but also reducing the burden on medical staff and cutting costs. To make all this happen, many of the wearable medical devices, require a reliable interface to the skin – what we at Med-S2T call: ‘Skin-to-Thing’ solution’.
Why is the Skin-to-Thing element of wearables so challenging?
The challenge of attaching the device to the skin in a conformable manner, while using medical grade materials, is critical to the success of the product. Such tailored solutions require a multidisciplinary approach and firm understanding of clinical aspects and characteristics of different patients’ populations. They also require comprehensive knowledge and experience with biocompatible materials, usability challenges, and the right spectrum of manufacturing technologies.
You might be surprised, but very often developers are not entirely aware of the challenges and obstacles which they might encounter in the attachment of their device to the human body.
As a speaker in the field and with my nursing and clinical background, I often tell my engineers audience to remember that the skin- our largest organ – is a living thing. If you ever had a Band-Aid on your finger, even for just a couple of hours, you’ve probably noticed the skin state once the Band-Aid has been removed. Now, imagine the challenge of placing a device on an impaired skin of a baby, or an elderly patient, a diabetic or a cancer patient.
There is no ‘one-fits-all’ material or solution. Developers need to consider the use scenarios and factors such as wearing time, will it be used in hospital setting or in a community setting? Placed by the patient or by a care provider? Where will it be placed on the body? What is the device weight? And what about showers or swimming with it? And we still didn’t start talking about the manufacturing aspects and cost-efficiency optimizing. We should also consider the interaction between different materials and different manufacturing methods and technologies. You might as well use a medical grade material, only to find out that once combined with another material, laminated or welded to a device, it will change its properties and fail biocompatibility tests. So definitively, this is much more than just a sticker one might have in mind.
What is your Company’s Mission?
As an excellence center for Skin-to-Thing solutions, our mission is to support developers of medical wearable devices in order to assure an end-to end optimal and cost-effective ‘Skin-to-Thing’ solution for the device. We are handling the entire, Design, development and manufacturing process of the Skin-to-Thing element of the device, hence, promoting a successful use of the device as well as a speedy ‘go-to-market’ strategy. On a personal level, I can tell you I am truly excited about our important contribution to the success of such medical wearables, as those are paving the path to improve health and wellbeing of users around the world.
Edith, You have been working in the medical device industry for many years. What is your passion in your work?
That’s a great question. For me, my career is a source of tremendous satisfaction. This form of combining clinical work with product development and business aspects, is my passion in my work and daily activities. I enjoy the thought that my personal work is influencing the market, leaving a true mark in many products which are changing people’s lives, and bringing business value to the companies which are developing these devices.
I have been fortunate to work with leading companies and with remarkable people. I lecture and present during professional events all over the world and absolutely love my work. That’s easy to see.
Can you tell our readers where can they find you online?
Absolutely. We can be contacted via our website WWW.Med-S2T.COM