Building the best electrodes for body monitoring
Opportunity and Solution
IDUN HealthTech develops sensors for health monitoring. Currently available electrodes for biopotential monitoring (ECG, EEG, EMG) have widely known drawbacks, such as skin irritations, motion artifacts and decrease in signal quality over time. This leads to inconvenient and burdening monitoring situations for patients and to a difficult diagnosis for doctors. In the rapidly growing market of health monitoring and wearables the first contact to the human, the sensor, is essential for the success of the device. Companies and projects all around the world are promoted in hopes of measuring and tracking the human performance and behavior. But most companies, in medical monitoring or performance diagnostics of sportive individuals, struggle with sensor solutions which provide signal quality and usability. IDUN HealthTech aims to be the best interface between human and technology. The benefit for the customer is a solution for comprehensive health monitoring. Through high comfort and signal quality our product enables health monitoring everywhere for everyone. Our technology, developed at the ETH Zurich in the Laboratory for Biosensors and Bioelectronics (LBB) is a dry-stretchable biopotential electrode (used for ECG, EMG, EEG). The flexible, soft electrode adapts to skin motion and following skin layers in their natural motion. Because of its dry and polymeric nature, it is skin biocompatible and does not lead to sweat and bacteria accumulation. As a consequence, these electrodes can be used for long-term monitoring in a home-monitoring setting, with patients going after their normal live. Additionally, these electrodes provide high quality signals in exercise activities, such as running, cycling and even swimming. Due to their material composition, they can be used for monitoring in dry and wet settings, simplifying monitoring for showering, swimming and diving. The electrodes are arbitrarily tunable (size, shape, material properties) and are reusable, improving their sustainability, and cost efficiency. Their lifetime depends on the intensity of use and can reach several months. The technology can easily be integrated in existing monitoring devices based on a modular interface between electrode, cable and electronics. Current trends in medical heart monitoring show a growing demand in all-in-one patch solutions instead of holter monitoring devices. Both of these solutions can be supplied by our electrode. We aim for a co-development and partnerships with health monitoring device companies, especially in the rising market of wearable devices. We can support and assist fitness tracker and wearable companies like Fitbit and Garmin increasing their signal quality in demanding environments, especially in heavy movement and water. The technology is developed by a team with several years of experience in the field of stretchable electronics. IDUN HealthTech is aiming for a ETH Spinoff and CTI startup label and is currently filing a patent application for the technology.
Business Model and Market
IDUN HealthTech is a producer and supplier of the electrodes in a B2B approach for OEM device manufacturers to three segments; medical monitoring (e.g. Philips Inc.), medical lifestyle (e.g. Biovotion) and fitness and sports monitoring (e.g. Polar, Suunto). Potential future applications are muscle (EMG) and brain (EEG) monitoring, both in medical and lifestyle devices. The global electrode market will grow to 1.45Bn dollars by 2019 with a CAGR of 11.7% during 2013-2019. The wearable electronics market is growing with a 69.53% CAGR during 2014-2019, showing the potential of this growing market. Worldwide OEM revenue from sales of sports, fitness and activity monitors is set to soar to $2.8 billion in 2019, up from $1.9 billion in 2013. Through contracts and strategic partnerships (e.g. scientific studies with Klinik Hirslanden) we will secure customers in the medical industry, for the uncertified lifestyle device we will especially work through white-labeled custom-developed solutions for wearable devices. The global healthcare market is the largest of all of the sectors overlapping with wearable technology. More than any other sector, healthcare applications require data reliability and accuracy. IDUN HealthTech’s dry electrode solution can provide a solution that equips our customers with a unique selling proposition and competitive advantage against their competitors.