Why is the Demand for Noncontact Sensor on the Rise?

Rachel Smith, Applied Technology Review | Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The healthcare sector uses telehealth to offer remote healthcare to the patients at the convenience of their homes. 

FREMONT, CA: Telehealth adoption has expanded, helping to fuel a transformation towards virtual care for many common ailments that health care observers have long promised. But, according to Frost & Sullivan, which expects the overall remote patient monitoring segment to rise at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20 percent from 2019 to 2023, developments in noncontact sensor technology could drive further expansion.

Many conventional medical devices have acquired the capacity to transmit patient information wirelessly in the initial wave of digital health. The emergence of wearable equipment has commoditized pulse monitoring and other metrics. Even though wearable devices like smartwatches have become popular, they are not common. Wearables, especially the ones which go beyond mere step-and pulse-counting, can be uncomfortable and relatively costly.

Advantages of Noncontact Technology

According to Frost & Sullivan, noncontact technology provides benefits compared with wearables. First, noncontact sensors improve health condition monitoring and remotely spot health conditions by not allowing patients or clinicians to communicate with such devices physically. Think of sensor technology placed under a mattress that can identify vital signs in a patient like epileptic seizures at home or in a hospital. After surgery, video-based technology equipped with machine learning can control patients or track their medication adherence. A vital sign monitor that operates by analyzing blood flow in the cheeks through a smartphone camera has been created by one start-up.

Research analysts at Frost & Sullivan predicted that noncontact technologies would offer a promising future as medical professionals will explore new ways to reduce infectious diseases. Already, noncontact patient monitoring strategies have shown potential in tracking patients with COVID-19 infections.

Several noncontact sensors can also be conveniently incorporated into smartphones with applications for either patients or health care staff for patient monitoring. A mature process of remote patient monitoring technology will begin in the next two to four years, with more than 80 percent of Americans having a smartphone and enhancing disease awareness.

Advancement in Doppler radar, infrared and sound processing, and machine learning are other factors that can accelerate the adoption of noncontact patient monitoring technology. The growing interest in noncontact monitoring technologies to diagnose fevers and episodes of coughing and implement public social distance interventions may also raise noncontact technology awareness.

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