Gentac is a company that makes disposable wireless sensor patches. These battery-less devices rely on the same near-field communications (NFC) technology found in many smartphones to read the sensor’s data from a distance. In a hospital setting, this means that a patient can be monitored constantly for various biometric measures, such as temperature or glucose level. Depending on the frequencies used, the patches can be read from miles away. Since the power is derived from radio waves, there is no need to recharge the device.
This patch technology just got a big boost as the diagnostic device company Welch Allyn just entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Gentac to develop the NFC technology for medical devices and sensors. This gives Gentac ready access to worldwide markets, where the patches can help improve data collection in clinical settings while reducing staff workload and making the information available sooner through the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).
The end result could be lower healthcare costs, more efficient treatment, and better patient outcomes. In the future, you may be able to wear a patch or two just as a standard procedure, and be able to forego most office visits with your doctors because they will already have most of the information that they’d need through the remote sensors.