Sensor Patch

March 17, 2016

Sensor Patch to revolutionize medical care

After the successful introduction of its first moisture-sensing products in 2015, Smartrac is introducing Sensor Patch, a new product that is ideally suited for applications in geriatric and other areas of healthcare.

Today, industrialized countries are exhibiting demographic changes that show the number of people in need of care climbing steeply. Already, geriatric care providers are struggling with the problem of managing urinary incontinence and associated skin irritations.

A solution based on Sensor Patch might offer relief: disposable moisture-sensing inlays that can be attached to the outside of any diaper to avoid irritation. In industrial diaper production, the inlays can also be placed invisibly, between the diaper’s layers. Caregivers would be equipped with mobile reading devices enabling them to remotely detect if an incontinence event has occurred within roughly 1.5 meters / 5 feet. The cost of inlays and readers would pay off quickly – in terms of both economics and patient dignity.

Like its sibling products (Sensor Dogbone, Sensor Tadpole), Sensor Patch is a result of Smartrac’s cooperation with sensor specialist RFMicron. Equipped with RFMicron’s Magnus® S2 chip, the latest passive UHF single-chip sensor solution offers cost-efficiency and hassle-free implementation. It is deployable where active or semi-active sensors are not practical, and involves no battery maintenance, running costs or problems with product lifetime or recycling. One economically promising example for the deployment of Sensor Patch is wireless incontinence detection for care facilities and further healthcare applications.

Multiple benefits for care services
Economically, long-term care services – primarily in geriatric care, but potentially also in medical and baby care – benefit from lower total costs if they can reduce the time dedicated to toileting, as well as from the differentiation gained. In geriatrics, this differentiation arises from the improved quality and dignity of care, as the patients are only disturbed if necessary rather than regularly and prophylactically. Many elderly people feel embarrassed by diaper change procedures, while mentally disordered patients (keyword: Alzheimer’s disease) sometimes even resist them actively. Thus, any reduction translates into a significant improvement to their quality of life.

Versatility key to a wide array of applications
One major benefit of Smartrac’s product line of sensor inlays is its versatility, which opens up a wide array of industrial applications as well. While Sensor Patch works well on textiles, pulps and nonwoven materials, Sensor Dogbone functions flawlessly on cardboard, plastics, stone, wood, construction materials, and Sensor Tadpole is ideally suited for metal environments. Soon future Smartrac inlays will further expand the scope of application.

Featuring model-specific designs, the antennas of all sensor inlays act as a resistor/inductor/capacitor (RLC) tuned circuit. Any one of these, or any combination of the three, can be exploited to enable an antenna to sense its environment. The antenna converts environmental data into an impedance change, and then the sensor tag IC translates this into a sensor code, as it dynamically matches antenna impedance to die impedance.

Great performance in challenging environments
Traditional sensors exploit changes in resistance to measure environmental variables, but this results in reduced tag read range due to power dissipated in the resistance. With their ability to use inductance or capacitance, Smartrac’s sensor inlays effectively avoid read-range issues. Thus they offer great performance in diverse and challenging circumstances, and accurately detect and measure moisture levels in a wide array of environments and areas of application – be it industrial production or geriatric care.

For further information about this RFID solution and its potential applications, please contact our sales and customer service.

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