The Critical Factors To Consider When Selecting a Suitable Adhesive for Wearable Medical Devices

by | Oct 12, 2023

According to Grand View Research, the wearable medical device market is on an upward trajectory, projected to reach $168.2 billion by 2030. This surge is indicative of the increasing integration of wearables into healthcare.

In the fast-evolving healthcare technology landscape, wearable medical devices have emerged as game-changers, seamlessly integrating medical monitoring into our daily lives. These devices offer patients and healthcare professionals unprecedented insights, from tracking vital signs to managing chronic conditions. Yet, amidst the excitement surrounding their capabilities, the adhesive that binds these devices to our skin is a crucial element often overlooked.

In this article, we delve into the critical factors to consider when selecting a suitable adhesive for wearable medical devices, unraveling the tapestry of considerations that contribute to this unseen but indispensable aspect of healthcare innovation.

Consider Device Material and Skin Compatibility

Before selecting an adhesive for your wearable medical device, it’s essential to consider the materials of both the device and the patient’s skin. Some adhesives may work well with certain materials but not with others.

Additionally, skin sensitivity can vary significantly from person to person. Opt for adhesives that are hypoallergenic and skin-friendly. Conduct thorough skin compatibility testing to ensure the adhesive won’t cause adverse reactions like irritation, redness, or allergic responses.

Adhesion Strength and Durability

The adhesive’s ability to securely attach the wearable device to the skin is paramount. The device should stay in place, even during physical activities or when exposed to moisture. Adhesion strength is particularly crucial in situations where the device is constantly moving or experiencing friction.

The adhesive should provide long-lasting adhesion without causing discomfort to the wearer. Consider the intended duration of device wear – whether for a few hours, days, or weeks – and choose an adhesive that can withstand the required period without losing grip.

Water and Moisture Resistance

Many wearable medical devices are designed to be worn even for swimming or showering. This demands adhesives that are highly resistant to water and moisture. When exposed to sweat, water, and other liquids, the adhesive should maintain its adhesion properties, ensuring the device remains securely attached and functional under various conditions. 

Make sure to select an adhesive that has been specifically tested for water resistance to prevent unexpected failures.

Conformability and Flexibility

Human skin is not flat and rigid; it moves, stretches, and flexes with every body movement. The adhesive used for wearable medical devices should be able to conform to the skin’s contours and move with it without causing discomfort or detachment. 

A flexible and conformable adhesive will ensure the device remains in place even during physical activities, preventing unnecessary adjustments or replacements.

Ease of Removal

While adhesion strength is vital, the adhesive should be easy to remove without causing pain or skin damage. Patients should be able to remove the device comfortably at the end of its intended wear time. Adhesives that are too aggressive might cause skin trauma upon removal. 

Opt for adhesives that strike a balance between strong adhesion and easy removal.

Medical Regulations and Approvals

Wearable medical devices fall under strict regulatory guidelines to ensure patient safety and product efficacy. When choosing an adhesive, it’s essential to consider whether it meets the necessary medical standards and regulations. 

Some adhesives are specifically formulated and tested to comply with medical device regulations, ensuring their safety and suitability for use on the skin.

DermaMed: Your Partner in Crafting Tailored Adhesive Solutions

As the wearable medical device landscape continues to expand, the adhesive that binds these devices to the skin remains a linchpin for success. Beyond its functional role, adhesive selection influences patient comfort, data accuracy, and overall healthcare outcomes. The complex interplay of skin compatibility, device type, wear time, and real-world conditions necessitates a meticulous approach to adhesive selection.

DermaMed understands the intricate interplay between adhesive properties and wearable device performance. Our expertise extends beyond the realm of custom adhesive products. Our expertise extends beyond the realm of standard products. By collaborating with DermaMed, you gain access to a treasure trove of adhesive knowledge and the capacity to develop custom adhesive products that align with your device’s specifications.

Contact us now to learn more about how we can meet your needs for medical adhesives.