A focus for us is innovative patient monitoring solutions that fit into everyday life. We develop technologies and applications that unobtrusively deliver medical-grade data in any setting. And, with clinical partners, we explore ways to combine and analyse that data, and turn it into new and actionable insights. Those insights can help spot early warning signs and give feedback that encourages healthy behaviour and lifestyle choices, improving quality of life while controlling healthcare spending.
High-quality medical imaging is the cornerstone of diagnostics and an increasing suit of image-guided therapies. Using thin-film technologies, we are opening up new possibilities for various medical imaging modalities by offering detection over larger areas. For example, our flexible X-ray detectors are lighter and more robust than traditional glass-based detectors, making X-ray systems more portable. The detectors can also be curved, enabling more compact systems.
Based on technologies similar to those already used widely in the semiconductor and display industries, we are also developing large area sensors for visible and near infrared light. These can be used in applications ranging from unobtrusive pregnancy monitoring to pulse oximetry for monitoring skin grafts or arterial disease due to diabetes. In addition, our flexible, large-area ultrasound-on-foil technology enables handheld or 'hands-free' imagers as well as wearable patches for safe, non-invasive monitoring of even hard-to-image body parts in hospitals, at home and on the go.
Effective health management relies on accurate, long-term monitoring. This requires medical devices that are comfortable and reliable enough to be worn on the body for long periods of time. We are using our expertise in printed electronics and bio-compatible materials to create on-body monitoring solutions that meet these goals while still delivering high-quality, multi-sensor data. With these technologies we can create devices such as bandages, clothing or dedicated patches for use in hospitals, at-home care and telehealth programs for remote communities.
A wide range of sensing options can be incorporated into a single on-body monitoring solution, including ECG, (core body) temperature and pressure. Combined with smart algorithms and data analysis, this makes it possible to develop tailored solutions for applications as varied as vital signs and blood oxygen saturation measurement for sepsis detection, chronic illness monitoring and orthopaedic rehabilitation.
On-body monitoring is not the preferred option in every case, for example, newborns have very sensitive skin. In these cases, non-contact monitoring is a much better solution. With non-contact monitoring, users don't have to remember to put on a wearable device, as sensors are invisibly embedded into the objects around them such as a bed that monitors vital signs or sleeping position.
Using printed electronics technologies, we are developing non-contact sensing solutions for measuring various health-related parameters. In these systems, we combine various types of printed sensor (temperature, pressure, etc.) and use smart algorithms and data science to convert that data into meaningful information such as heart rate or respiration. Further analysis can enable the detection of anything from bed sores to stress levels.