Avery Dennison Medical Solutions (Chicago, IL) has created a disposable wearable sensor to improve medical monitoring. To establish a strong identity in the quickly growing body monitoring field, Avery Dennison worked with Karten Design (Los Angeles, CA) to optimize the Metria sensor for end users. With a design that draws more from athletic apparel than medical products, the firm sought to design a fitness-inspired product that could be worn comfortably around the clock for approximately seven days.
“Many sensors available today look like bandages,” explains Jonathan Abarbanel, the lead designer on this project, in an interview with Medgadget. “Through design, we wanted to visually message the wearable sensor’s capabilities: it’s not just a bandage; it’s a body-worn sensor with complex electronics that can provide real-time, continuous information about your vital signs.”
The first thing the team did in the design process was to address the product’s form. “Karten Design developed an organic, dynamic shape inspired by movement that gives Avery’s wearable sensor a unique, iconic identity,” Abarbanel says. “The form gracefully houses the wearable sensor’s internal electronics in a way that’s comfortable to wear. The rigid footprint of the electronic components is minimized, while keeping the overall height of the sensor as low and close to the skin as possible.”
Abarbanel goes on to explain the firm’s exploration of materials involved in the design:
This was one of the key design challenges. Intended to be worn 24 hours a day for 7 days, the sensor needed to be resistant to moisture, soil, and germs. It needed to meet the standards for an IPX rating of 7 (the second highest). It was also necessary to strike the right balance between flexibility and durability; the sensor had to be flexible enough to move with the wearer’s skin. Finally, material choices had to work with the manufacturing process. Avery manufactures its sensors with a web press, which necessitates that materials have minimal thickness and come in rolls that can be fed through the automated machinery. Karten Design studied materials used in athletic apparel, particularly in footwear, which has introduced many flexible, durable materials. We developed a solution that uses multiple layers of laminated foams and adhesives around the core electronics and sensors.
Currently, Karten Design is exploring color and finish treatments and corporate branding application to enhance the sensor’s brand presence.The sensor is expected to be available later this year and will be distributed under the Body Media (Pittsburgh, PA) brand.