COVID & Co: smart patches to fight infections

Published On: December 30, 20212.6 min read523 words

Smart patches allow continuous and very accurate body temperature measurement without having to disturb the user. Developed by the Styrian medical technology start-up SteadySense, they can help detect infectious diseases early.

SteadySense, a Styria-based medical technology company, offers a smart patch that continuously measures the body temperature of its users without disturbing their everyday life. The adhesive patch is applied below the arm and is activated via an app on the smartphone. Temperature measurements at five-minute intervals create a continuous curve which shows the body temperature over the measuring period. The data are saved by the patch and can be retrieved through the app at any time.

The process, which is approved as a medical device for professional use, has many advantages over conventional temperature measurement methods. Recording the temperature continuously over time supplies significantly more information than capturing it selectively. Based on the long-term documentation, different base temperatures can be taken into account, and short-term fluctuations caused by external stimuli can easily be identified as outliers.

Rest for patients
In a clinical environment, patients’ body temperature can be recorded without having to regularly disturb them while they are resting. In addition, this takes some burden off the nursing staff since this form of recording requires less effort than traditional body temperature measurement methods. The smart patch can be worn for up to seven days and is barely perceptible.

“Measuring patients’ temperature accurately over a longer period of time offers doctors additional data for their diagnoses,” Werner Koele, CEO of SteadySense, explains. “Infectious diseases such as COVID-19 may possibly even be identified earlier than with antigen tests, even though they cannot replace such tests.” In medicine, changes in body temperature can provide information about different processes in the body. Infections are usually accompanied by an increase in temperature. The accurate data supplied by the SteadySense patch can support doctors in distinguishing between bacterial and viral infections because the fever curves differ.

AT&S for flexibilityMoreover, many infectious diseases can be diagnosed at an early stage due to changes in the temperature curve. Using the appropriate algorithms, which SteadySense develops, information on other changes of the body can also be derived from the temperature curve. For example, the app can determine the time of ovulation for women and consequently help with planning a family. Temperature-based contraception is also significantly easier with constant temperature measurements; SteadySense is already working on an appropriate implementation.

A flexible miniaturised electronic system featuring sensors and communication chips supplied by AT&S is used at the heart of the flexible patch. The know-how of the printed circuit board manufacturer in flexible electronics and medical technology is opening up new paths in capturing health data.

AT&S at the CES Las Vegas

AT&S will be presenting these and many other solutions for the first time at one of the world’s most influential technology events – the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Visit us from January 5 to 8, 2022 at our booth #51134 in the Austria Pavilion (Venetian Expo (formerly Sands), Level 2, Halls A-C) and find out everything about how AT&S is helping to shape the future.