Wearable Smart Patches: Bursting Consumer Myths

06 Nov 2023

Wearable smart patches are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry for health monitoring purposes. These small, discreet devices are worn on the skin and use sensors to track a variety of health metrics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, blood glucose monitoring, and SpO2 levels, among others. 

With the convenience, comfort, and versatility of wearable smart patches, they have become an attractive option for both individuals and healthcare professionals.

Moreover, the increasing prevalence of chronic disorders such as diabetes, strokes, etc., technological advancements, and growing geriatric population have increased the importance of smart wearable patches. 

According to BIS Research, the global wearable patches market was valued at $8.65 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $26.8 billion by the end of 2031. Furthermore, this market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.06% during the forecast period 2022–2031.

However, with the growing popularity of wearable patches for health monitoring, it is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to their accuracy and reliability.

Myth 1: Wearable Smart Patches are Less Accurate Than Traditional Devices

One of the most common misconceptions about wearable smart patches is that they are not as accurate as traditional health monitoring devices, such as fitness trackers or smartwatches. 

However, a study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine found that a wearable patch for monitoring heart rate was more accurate than a traditional chest strap heart rate monitor. The study demonstrated that the patch was able to accurately measure heart rate variability (HRV), which is considered a more accurate indicator of cardiovascular health than traditional heart rate measurements. 

Additionally, many wearable patches for health monitoring are equipped with multiple sensors that can measure different health metrics, which helps to increase their overall accuracy. 

Myth 2: Wearable Smart Patches are Not Comfortable to Wear

Another common misconception about wearable smart patches is that they are not comfortable to wear. However, most wearable patches for health monitoring are designed to be lightweight and flexible, which makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. 

Additionally, many wearable patches are equipped with soft, skin-friendly adhesive which helps to keep the patch securely in place without causing irritation. Some wearable patches are even designed to be worn for extended periods of time, such as for 24 hours, which makes them a great option for long-term health monitoring.

Impact of Wearable Smart Patches in Healthcare Industry

Wearable smart patches are not only beneficial for individuals, but also for healthcare professionals. They can be used for remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and sleep disorders.

Remote Patient Monitoring: Wearable patches are revolutionizing healthcare by facilitating ongoing remote monitoring of individuals with chronic conditions. This leads to a decrease in hospital readmissions, a reduction in healthcare expenses, and better patient outcomes. 

Clinical Trials: Pharmaceutical companies and research organizations employ wearable patches to gather real-time data from clinical trial participants. This optimized data collection boosts trial efficiency and yields more precise insights into the effectiveness and safety of drugs.

Elderly Care: Wearable patches are vital in elderly care as they offer caregivers and healthcare providers valuable insights into the health and wellness of senior individuals. This technology aids in extending independent living and alleviating the load on caregivers. 

Personalized Care for Patients: The information produced by wearable patches drives the data analytics and AI sectors, which work to analyze and interpret extensive health-related data gathered from these medical patches. This process leads to valuable insights for personalized healthcare. 

Recent Developments in the Global Wearable Patches Market

•    In August 2023, Theranica Bio-Electronics received expanded CE mark approval for Nerivio as a dual-use migraine therapy, marking a crucial milestone for its swift entry into the European market.
•    In June 2023, Abbott Labs stated that the FDA approved their FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 sensors for use with automated insulin delivery (AID) systems. 
•    In June 2023, Insulet Corp. introduced the Omnipod 5 Automated Insulin Delivery System (Omnipod 5) for individuals aged two years and above with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the U.K.
•    In April 2023, Medicare broadened access to continuous glucose monitoring systems like FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 14-day for insulin-using Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes. This change removed the previous need for multiple daily insulin injections.

Analyst Note

According to Mridul Pasricha, senior analyst at BIS Research, “With the growing demand for painless and continuous remote monitoring of patients, the adoption of wearable patches is expected to increase globally. The Asia-Pacific wearable patches market, particularly, is expected to register significant growth during the forecast period 2023-2031.”