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Market Research Report

Printed Electronics for Healthcare, Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals 2014-2024

Published by IDTechEx Ltd. Product code 242233
Published Content info 135 Pages
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Printed Electronics for Healthcare, Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals 2014-2024
Published: May 1, 2014 Content info: 135 Pages

This publication has been discontinued on July 24, 2015.


"In 2014, the global market for biochemical sensors alone is over $8.8 billion dollars."

Printed electronics for healthcare and beauty encompasses stretchable, flexible, conformal and sometimes biodegradable electronics and electrics. It is very thin and lightweight, even in hybrid constructions that, for now, incorporate conventional integrated circuits (IC), light emitting diodes (LED) and other chips in a partly printed device in order to perform functions not yet possible with entirely printed surfaces. Saving up to 40% of cost, space and weight and making new things possible are typical achievements. This is the only up to date, comprehensive report on this rapidly emerging technology and covers; electronic medical implants, patches, disposables, and drug and cosmetic dispensing: stretchable, flexible, wide area, low cost, disposable electronics. It looks at how technologies such as NFC are impacting healthcare provision.

New Enabling Technology - but what are the real opportunities vs hype?

Printed and potentially printed thin film electronics provides many benefits in healthcare and beauty including low cost in many cases, even to the point of disposability, and greatly enhanced functionality in other cases. Frequently, it makes new things possible. It does this in two ways. It is the basis of totally new components relying on new physical principles, examples including metamaterials and memristors. Secondly it makes possible the creation of new devices such as self-powered implants that never need a battery to be replaced. Battery replacement by surgical procedure causes up to 3% of fatalities.

All this addresses the modern needs of healthcare in the private house and on-the-go and more effective, affordable healthcare and beauty products that are easier to use, unobtrusive, greener, automatic and safer. The greying of the population and lack of staff and facilities for conventional healthcare are addressed.

This new technology takes an increasing variety of forms from implants to smart skin patches, radio frequency identification (RFID) and smart packaging. The human interface is improved with sound, moving images, light emitting graphics and so on. Other functions achieved are as widely different as automatic drug delivery and anticounterfeiting. Multiple benefits are commonplace. In a drug trial, recording which pill was removed, when, and plotting this helps patients to do better - get well sooner - and reduces the amount of corrupt data.

Market value US$ million 2013*

*For the full forecast data please purchase this report
Source: IDTechEx

Printed electronics is therefore helping to prevent sickness and reduce errors, drive down costs and crime and improve product performance. For the user, it makes life easier, safer and more enjoyable. To the supplier, it is an opportunity to finally nail supply chain inefficiencies to increase market share and profit. Sometimes, it can justify premium pricing and reinvigorate brands, partly with packaging that becomes part of the product in a more meaningful way and with much more sophisticated, relevant electronic rewards incorporated. On the other hand, a niche product such as a medical instrument can become a volume product usable by almost anyone.

This profusely illustrated report takes a very broad view of the subject so the reader does not miss commercial opportunities because of the relatively narrow focus of the research community. Tables and charts compare the technical, market and other options, navigate the jargon and reveal trends. Leveraging the large IDTechEx database on the subject, its coverage in relevant IDTechEx events and a wide range of personal contacts reinforced by intensive travel, the subject is brought alive without equations or obscure science but with the fruits of research by the highly qualified and experienced IDTechEx team.

Main areas the report covers

The technologies of printed, stretchable, flexible, biodegradable, implantable and wide area electronics and electrics for healthcare and beauty with a profusion of case studies of their development and application to a wide variety of needs with summaries of market drivers.

For example, the report addresses

  • printed and flexible sensors in healthcare
  • NFC in healthcare
  • medication delivery

and much more.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


  • 1.1. Dramatic widespread benefits
  • 1.2. RFID forecasts


  • 2.1. Market drivers
    • 2.1.1. Changing lifestyles
  • 2.2. Brands add uniques that retailers cannot easily copy
    • 2.2.1. Needs of institutions
    • 2.2.2. Legislation and de facto legislation
    • 2.2.3. Massive challenges in the third world
  • 2.3. Meeting the market needs
  • 2.4. What is printed electronics?
    • 2.4.1. Background
    • 2.4.2. Stretchable Electronics
    • 2.4.3. Rollable electronics
    • 2.4.4. Foldable electronics
    • 2.4.5. Edible electronics
    • 2.4.6. Interactive paper
    • 2.4.7. Ubiquitous Sensor Networks
    • 2.4.8. Electronic packaging
    • 2.4.9. Conformal electronics / electronic wallpaper
    • 2.4.10. Wearable and very portable electronics
    • 2.4.11. Old concepts revisited - fault tolerant electronics, hard programmed electronics
    • 2.4.12. Electronics without circuits
  • 2.5. The technical needs for printed electronics
    • 2.5.1. Replacing and enhancing conventional print
    • 2.5.2. Replacing the silicon chip
    • 2.5.3. Replacing conventional displays
    • 2.5.4. Replacing conventional lighting
    • 2.5.5. Transforming the human interface and new forms of safety and security
    • 2.5.6. New forms of amusement and merchandising
    • 2.5.7. New forms of drug delivery
    • 2.5.8. Products that are light, rugged and extremely low cost
  • 2.6. Smart locations
  • 2.7. Industries that need to collaborate
  • 2.8. Value chain and life beyond plastic electronics
  • 2.9. Interim products with silicon chips
  • 2.10. Impediments to printed electronics


  • 3.1. Active monitoring hardware
  • 3.2. Bilirubin blanket
  • 3.3. Controlling brain seizures
  • 3.4. Epidermal electronics
  • 3.5. Heart monitoring and control
    • 3.5.1. Driving defibrillator and pacemaker implants
  • 3.6. Mapping heart action and providing therapy
  • 3.7. Medical micropackaging
  • 3.8. Monitoring compression garments
  • 3.9. Monitoring babies
  • 3.10. Monitoring shoe insoles of those with diabetes
  • 3.11. Monitoring vital signs with smart textiles
  • 3.12. Remote monitoring and telemetry of vital signs
    • 3.12.1. Body Area Networks BAN
    • 3.12.2. Skin sensors with telemetry
  • 3.13. Reebok and M10


  • 4.1. Technology
  • 4.2. Non-invasive sensing and analysis of sweat
  • 4.3. Renal function monitoring
  • 4.4. Inorganic biomedical sensors
  • 4.5. Disposable blocked artery sensors
  • 4.6. Disposable asthma analysis
    • 4.6.1. Screen Printed Optical Resonant Biosensors
  • 4.7. Polymer bioelectronics and biosensors
    • 4.7.1. Breath sensor detects diabetes
    • 4.7.2. Carbon nanotube trace oxygen sensors
    • 4.7.3. Ultrasensitive sensor array speeds DNA detection
    • 4.7.4. Versatile biomedical sensors
    • 4.7.5. Smart fabrics prevent repetitive strain injury
    • 4.7.6. Deep vein thrombosis analysis etc: Fraunhofer EMFT
  • 4.8. Pregnancy belt monitors heart of baby
    • 4.8.1. Intelligent underwear
  • 4.9. Alcohol and stress monitoring jackets
    • 4.9.1. Hormone sensors
    • 4.9.2. Electronic sportswear
    • 4.9.3. Detecting toxins in drinking water
    • 4.9.4. Glucose sensors
  • 4.10. Nanobiosensor for harmful gases
    • 4.10.1. Fabric based sensing for sport
  • 4.11. Lab on film
    • 4.11.1. Bed sheets monitor heart patients at home


  • 5.1. RFID in more detail
  • 5.2. Real Time Locating Systems
  • 5.3. NFC in Healthcare
    • 5.3.1. NFC background
    • 5.3.2. 2010 Turning Point
    • 5.3.3. The biggest but least used RFID network today
    • 5.3.4. Beyond payments and transit
    • 5.3.5. Key adoption factors
    • 5.3.6. Technologies to address challenges
    • 5.3.7. Conclusions: NFC in Packaging and for Healthcare
  • 5.4. Trend of frequencies
    • 5.4.1. Form of Active RFID
    • 5.4.2. Radio regulations are changing
    • 5.4.3. No ideal frequency for everything
    • 5.4.4. Ultra Wide Band (UWB)
    • 5.4.5. Privacy issues





  • 1.1. RFID tag projections for healthcare 2014-2024 US$ million worldwide
  • 1.2. Number (in millions) of passive tags for healthcare 2014-2024
  • 1.3. Average passive tag price for healthcare in US cents 2014-2024
  • 1.4. Value of passive tags for healthcare 2014-2024 (US dollar millions)
  • 1.5. Number (in millions) of active tags for healthcare 2014-2024
  • 1.6. Average active tag price for healthcare in US cents 2014-2024
  • 1.7. Value of active tags 2014-2024 (US dollar millions)
  • 2.1. Examples of needs satisfied by printed electronics
  • 2.2. Some factors driving the rapid growth of printed electronics
  • 2.3. Progress in making printed and thin film components
  • 2.4. Examples of printing technologies used for printed electronics
  • 2.5. Some organizations developing wearable electronics are shown
  • 5.1. Split of healthcare and pharmaceutical applications in the IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase when it reached 3,000 cases of RFID in action.
  • 5.2. The main purposes for which RFID has been and will be used in healthcare and pharmaceuticals
  • 5.3. Some market drivers of RFID in healthcare
  • 5.4. Some tasks performed by RFID
  • 5.5. The commonly used licence free frequencies for active RFID


  • 1.1. Projected growth for diabetic test strips 2011-2024
  • 1.2. Printed and Flexible Biomedical Sensors market share 2014
  • 1.3. Printed and Flexible BioChemical Sensors market share 2024
  • 1.4. Number (in millions) of passive tags for healthcare 2014-2024
  • 1.5. Average passive tag price for healthcare in US cents 2014-2024
  • 1.6. Value of passive tags for healthcare 2014-2024 (US dollar millions)
  • 1.7. Number (in millions) of active tags for healthcare 2014-2024
  • 1.8. Average active tag price for healthcare in US cents 2014-2024
  • 1.9. Value of active tags 2014-2024 (US dollar millions)
  • 2.1. Dependant elderly as a percentage of population
  • 2.2. "Forever young"
  • 2.3. Life phase shifts from 1950 to 2000
  • 2.4. Growth in single-person households in Western Europe, 1951 to 1991
  • 2.5. Households added in the USA from 1990 to 2000, showing more single-person households were added than other types
  • 2.6. Compliance monitoring blister pack showing printed and conventional parts
  • 2.7. Estée Lauder iontophoretic skin patch as a beauty aid
  • 2.8. Location of smart packaging in utility/experience space
  • 2.9. Two routes to the truly intelligent package
  • 2.10. Four generations of printed and thin film electronics
  • 2.11. The three main benefits of printed electronics, where the third stage of printing directly on to things hugely improves functionality and saves materials
  • 2.12. Some of the radically new capabilities powered by printed electronics
  • 2.13. Stretchable Thermometer from the Stella Project
  • 2.14. Shuttered rollable calculator using screen printed touchpad
  • 2.15. Unrollable personal device
  • 2.16. Origami electronics from Linkoping University Sweden
  • 2.17. Foldable solar panels from Orion Solar Israel
  • 2.18. Foldable photovoltaic chargers from Konarka
  • 2.19. Electronic printing on tablets
  • 2.20. Interactive paper from the EU Superinks project
  • 2.21. The demographic timebomb
  • 2.22. Concept of a smart package showing clearly that the contents have expired
  • 2.23. Concept of a package monitoring the condition of the user and acting accordingly
  • 2.24. Next possible development of smart pill dispensing
  • 2.25. The interactive game card and its terminal. The card has 16-bits printed
  • 2.26. Some developments come later because they are tougher to achieve
  • 2.27. Calculator embedded in book
  • 2.28. Power Paper disposable paper timer
  • 2.29. Ceiling lighting in the Mercedes Maybach
  • 2.30. Concepts of improved cockpit display
  • 2.31. Smart package projecting information
  • 2.32. Sensing, talking pot noodle
  • 2.33. Power Paper partly printed toys
  • 2.34. Slap on Slap Messenger communicator wristband licensed to Hasbro
  • 2.35. Concept of a future printed tearoff
  • 2.36. The percentage level of non-compliance by type of affliction
  • 2.37. Smart skin patches
  • 2.38. Compliance recording blisterpack with printed sensors and interconnects as used with 30,000 patients in the national Institutes of Health trial of the drug Azithromycin in 2006
  • 2.39. Price sensitivity curve for RFID
  • 2.40. Progression of potential markets for RFID
  • 2.41. Smart home
  • 2.42. Smart subway
  • 2.43. Smart shop
  • 2.44. Smart office
  • 2.45. Smart airport
  • 2.46. Industries seeking to collaborate
  • 2.47. Examples of how the printing and electronics industries are collaborating
  • 2.48. Typical value chain for printed electronics
  • 2.49. Theoretical importance of OLEDs
  • 2.50. Cypak smart postal package recording time of penetration
  • 2.51. KSW Microtec time temperature recording label
  • 2.52. Inflatable pillow radio by T-Ink
  • 2.53. Examples of RFID tags by frequency and incidence of printed antennas
  • 2.54. The varied impediments to rollout of thin film electronics
  • 3.1. Active monitoring hardware consisting of 1 battery 2 power management 3 sensor board with 3D accelerometer and 2D magnetometer 4 microprocessor and 5 the 2.4 GHz radio with antenna on top
  • 3.7. Bio-integrated electronics for cardiac therapy
  • 3.9. Urgo band aid demonstrator for pressure measurement undercompression garments
  • 3.15. Innovative body sensor that can be worn by users to remotely gather physiological data
  • 3.16. CheckLight from Reebok and MC10
  • 4.1. Projected growth for diabetic test strips 2011-2024
  • 4.2. Printed and Flexible Biomedical Sensors market share 2014
  • 4.3. Printed and Flexible BioChemical Sensors market share 2024
  • 4.4. Diabetes breath sensor
  • 4.5. Detail of the prototype diabetes sensor
  • 4.6. Confined space rescue
  • 4.7. Nanogap sensor array
  • 4.8. DNA strands sticking to the sensor
  • 4.9. Professor Tim Claypole (left) and Dr Chris Phillips, Senior Research Officer, comparing a printed array with a multi-well plate that is currently used
  • 4.10. Interdigitated gold impedance electrodes
  • 4.11. A precision assembly process using a double sided pressure sensitive adhesive foil to bond the two functional layers together
  • 4.12. Polymer opto-electronic detection module
  • 4.13. The light source and detector are fabricated on the same planar foil substrate
  • 4.14. Integrating sensorics in fluidics by folding principle
  • 4.15. Intelligent underwear
  • 4.16. Electronic sports shoe
  • 4.17. Glucose sensor in the form of a skin patch
  • 5.1. Technical performance for active RFID in crowded environments as a function of frequency in the view of Savi Technology
  • 5.2. UWB frequency spread compared with some alternative active RFID bands in the microwave region
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