Pandemic accelerates adoption of electronic skin patches


Electronic skin patches represent a type of wearable technological product well suited for physiological monitoring. Placing an electronic device connected to the skin via adhesive provides a platform that can house many different types of sensors, especially for medical monitoring of the wearer. Over the past 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a concerted global effort to explore and revise our approaches to patient monitoring and infectious disease management. As with other wearable devices, electronic skin patches have evolved dramatically during this time.

The impact of COVID-19 has been significant for many industries, but in very different ways. Remote patient monitoring products have seen a significant increase in demand and deployment, with remote monitoring options being significantly more favorable when it comes to treating a highly infectious disease. Regulatory barriers have been lowered to meet emergency demand during the pandemic, which has seen many companies ramp up to market on already existing channels. This has especially helped companies at the early stages of commercialization take the next step of scaling up on the long journey to commercializing a consumer medical device.

For many other sectors, the changes have been more subtle. As with other markets, local blockages have impacted products requiring in-person delivery, such as a visit to a cardiologist. However, since many companies were already testing telehealth options, they were often able to quickly expand them to allow remote delivery of products. As such, while the numbers at the end of Q1 and Q2 may have been negatively impacted, many companies have recovered extremely quickly and have made it possible to move to potentially more profitable models involving tools like telehealth.

The net result is that many trends seen in the electronic skin patch market have accelerated. Familiarity with telehealth and its general acceptance has seen a noticeable increase in adoption. Remote patient monitoring options have developed further, not only as part of the monitoring and treatment of specific vertical diseases, but also in more general settings. Both of these projects were supported by a series of significant acquisitions, with some large medical device companies buying up leading skin patch companies for integration into larger digital healthcare ecosystems. Philips’ acquisition of BioTelemetry for $ 2.8 billion, announced in December 2020, is the largest and most significant, and one of many deals covered and discussed in IDTechEx’s latest report on the subject, “Electronic Skin Patches 2021-2031”.

This report describes each of the key market sectors where Electronic Skin Patch products are used today. As a diverse product platform, these markets each have very unique dynamics and product ecosystems in which skin patches play a certain role. However, there are also many general themes in the technology and business model that cover the product industry. The report covers each of them in turn, with historical data going back to 2010 and market forecast to 2031 for each industry covered. As part of this story, the activities of more than 130 companies are covered, including more than 50 interviews by analysts at IDTechEx as part of the team’s focus on primary research.

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