Wearables are wonders — they have the power to enhance human health simply by connecting technology to skin. Medical wearables play a key role in enablement of positive care outcomes and help simplify care management – changing patient quality of life for the better. But when it comes to designing an effective wearable device, numerous considerations must be taken into account. In this paper, we will go “under the skin” to examine the factors that impact performance, including the science of skin and adhesion and how to make devices stick.
Skin is an ever-changing organ. Its complexity makes it a challenge when designing wearable devices. When you design adhesives and devices that are made to stick to skin, there’s a lot to consider.
Start your design with skin in mind.
Formulating and applying adhesives has been a core 3M technology since we started in business back in 1902. Today, 3M Medical Materials and Technologies offers a wide range of medical-grade tape, adhesive and film components used by medical device manufacturers around the world. This includes “skin-friendly” medical materials, intended for direct patient contact, and more aggressive medical-grade tapes, adhesives and closures used in the actual construction of medical devices made from plastic films, foams and fabrics.
By bringing in 3M at the product conception stage, you can take advantage of this expertise to potentially speed up your design process – with solutions that can help improve device reliability, enhance performance and reduce costs. At the same time, you gain access to 3M’s technology portfolio — allowing you to expand your design options— as well as resources that include manufacturing guidance, global supply chain capabilities, product testing and clinical support. Whatever product development stage you’re at, we’re ready to help you succeed – by delivering great science with a personal touch.
Skin is a window – it can indicate our overall health. And when it’s damaged, it can hurt both psychologically and physically.
The skin of a diabetic patient needs special attention. Diabetes can impact blood supply to the skin and lead to a variety of skin conditions. And diabetic patients have the added risk of complications from the use of devices that monitor blood glucose levels or deliver insulin.
When we design medical devices that attach to a patient’s skin, the choice of adhesive makes a big difference. Skin-friendly materials depend on what type of skin is involved and what the device needs to do.
When you are designing a medical device that must attach to a patient’s skin, a lot depends on your choice of adhesive system. How long will the device remain on the patient? Does it need to be conformable? What skin types or conditions will be encountered? Will the adhesive be compatible with both your materials of construction and the patient? Should the adhesive be medical grade?