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The Exploding Growth Of Wearable Medical Devices

Wearable medical devices, also known as “wearables” are one of the highest growth areas of the medical device market, enabling continuous monitoring of patient health data. Halco is a supplier of specialty hook and loop fastening materials and adhesives with state of the art converting services that help make these clinical grade wearables possible.

What Are Wearables?

Wearable medical devices, or “Wearables”, combine advanced sensor technology, machine learning and AI algorithms, cloud computing and smartphone apps. Some of these devices, like an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, may be used for personal fitness and health monitoring.

Beyond the realm of wearable fitness technology, many new health monitoring devices, sometimes called “biosensors”, are coming to the healthcare industry that are specific to a medical condition and are designed for remote patient monitoring. The objective is to monitor personal health data, identify irregularities early and reduce healthcare costs while improving patient outcomes.

As an example, a wearable biosensor from Philips is a self-adhesive patch that monitors movement, heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature. Because of this continuous remote monitoring, this wearable device showed an 89% reduction in patient deterioration into preventable cardiac or respiratory arrest. This is an excellent example of wearable healthcare technology.

Growth of the Wearables Market

The market for wearable medical devices is surging. GlobalData, a global research firm in the UK, estimates the wearable technology market to be $46 billion is 2022 and forecasts it to grow to $100 billion in 2027. Wearable medical device companies are experiencing a growth rate of at least 17%.

About one third to one half of the population in the United States uses a wearable smart device with the percentage growing each year. The volume growth is largely drive by wearable fitness monitoring devices that also provide some health monitoring capability. However, there is also rapid growth in demand for wearable health monitoring devices providing medical grade accuracy tied to healthcare outcomes.

Types and Uses of Wearables

There are many different types of wearable devices. These include:

Medical device for pulse measurement using a medical grade hook and loop fastening system.
Device for pulse measurement.
  • Wearable fitness trackers
  • Smart health watches
  • Wearable ECG monitors
  • Wearable blood pressure monitors
  • Wearable biosensors

The Use of Hook and Loop Fasteners in Wearable Devices

As an ISO 13485 certified manufacturer of medical device components and a specialist in hook and loop fastening systems, Halco works closely with wearable device OEMs in a couple different ways.

First, we are a supplier of specialty medical grade hook and loop materials and also on-skin or near-skin adhesive systems for medical device assembly. Second, we provide engineering support and advanced converting services including adhesive lamination and die-cutting.

The combination of these specialty fastening materials and our converting services is used to make attachment systems, closure systems and uniquely crafted hook and loop straps for these wearable technologies. In the images below, you can see several of these straps, fabricated by Halco, for wearable device manufacturers.

How Can We Help?

We have a deep portfolio of specialty hook and loop materials, advanced converting services and the expertise to help. Free evaluation samples are also available to test in your design. Just reach out to us or request a sample by filling out the information below.

Tell us about your project and request a sample of medical grade hook & loop products