Sensors Products

Gen 3.0 Bio-Monitoring Sensors – Teaming for Design & Manufacturing

March 4, 2016 By: Heidi Hoffman, FlexTech

Sensors Insights by Heidi Hoffman

Flexible and printed electronics products in the healthcare and human performance monitoring sector will soon move beyond rigid, clunky wrist-wearing devices and into more non-intrusive form factors while increasing the information sent to monitoring systems and recommendations for actionable events. Key to the transition will be the development of a robust, repeatable and integrated manufacturing process for component integration.

Market forecaster, IDTechEx, is predicting a near $30B market for internet-connected devices in a combined industry and consumer sector. Of those, health monitors is the strongest segment, where performance is of the highest value and reliability is life-and-death critical. The savings to be realized from these devices and more successful self-treatment will make up for the shortages in doctors, nurses and care-givers as people live much longer lives and rely on near-constant stream of data and on their health.

Overcoming the challenges in designing and manufacturing more effective, non-intrusive health monitoring devices is dependent on organizations - and teams of organizations – which have a broad knowledge base a myriad of technologies and methodologies. Advanced materials and bio-sensor development, analysis tools and systems for managing and interpreting the data generated, microfluidics, flexible electronics (sensing, communications, power, processing, storage, analog to digital converters and interconnects) and large scale manufacturing – are all considerations in designing and manufacturing third or fourth generation devices for this market.


  • Advanced materials and composites
  • BioMarker recognition tools
  • Benchmarks and analysis tools
  • Microfluidics
  • Flexible, stretchable substrate
  • Printing of conductive inks
  • Programmable IC chips
  • Integration of ICs chips
  • Flexible & stretchable Interconnects
  • Functional MEM structures
  • Test and reliability standards and benchmarks
  • Communication systems
  • Flexible power sources and power management
  • Volume manufacturing methods

Devices for the market will have tiny, functional structures built with advanced composites that do not interact or change the sample while processing, or be forced into a change by external forces such as magnetic fields, vibration, immersion or temperature variation. They will enable correlation between expected outcomes and anomalies and understand what might be an actionable data and which to disregard. Indices need to be created for the different characteristics of different body types and conditions. Stringent testing and analysis will play a role in bringing products to the market that the healthcare professional can trust.

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About the Author: Heidi Hoffman

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