Title: S2T: A critical pillar and enabler of digital health
Biography: Edith Bianchi
Healthcare IT and digital health are fast growing fields. More than 200 million health and fitness mobile apps were downloaded by users in 2016 according to app measurement firm App Annie, as cited by the Meeker report. 36% of those were fitness themed, 24% disease and treatment, 17% lifestyle and stress, 12% diet and nutrition, and 11% other themes. The vast amounts of data generated by patients, are resulted by their care as well as personalized apps and, are indeed enormous and fueling the wearable’s market rapid evolution. Healthcare IT and digital health enable the efficient handling of the collected data both on the clinical and administrative levels. IoT enables now the connectivity of a medical device "Thing" to the Internet. The starting point of every architecture for digital health is always the patient and the patient's "Skin" interface to the "Thing" (S2T). However, this crucial element is often overlooked by medical device developers, left for a later stage of design, although at times, it may be the determining factor of implementation of the entire digital health process. Most of the focus is directed to the computing and cloud technologies, the electronics and gateways apps of the data. When designing a wearable device as a starting point of the digital health process, engineering teams are becoming more and more familiar with human factor and Ergonomics elements. These are most crucial with any S2T ("Skin to Thing") solution or a medical patch to adhere the device to the patient's skin. Endless applications such as monitoring, nerve stimulation, drug delivery and many more, are now transforming healthcare as we used to know it. Crucial factors such as biocompatibility and regulation requirements, the possible material interactions due to manufacturing technologies and comfortability to the end user – these aspects of body/machine interface should be given their deserved attention in order to assure the successful usage and benefits of current technological breakthrough is medical device, fitness, healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries.