E Ink and LTS partner to develop smart patch to improve medical management


American-based E Ink Holdings, a leading innovator of electronic ink technology and German LTS Lohmann-Therapie Systeme AG, leading in the development and manufacturing of transdermal therapeutic systems, announced their partnership to develop a “Smart Patch” prototype. The Smart Patch prototype is a transdermal therapeutic system (TTS) which delivers medication to patients in a convenient, controlled and comfortable manner and features an E Ink display to deliver and to convey relevant information about patch performance.

According to a report conducted by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI), poor medication adherence is a pervasive problem that costs US$290bn a year in the US. Forgetting to take medication and not understanding administration instructions are among the main reasons why between 20 and 50 percent of patients are not adhering to their medical regimens. Smart drug systems like Smart Patches will increase globally to nearly US$81.4bn by 2024 as they provide a more targeted, uniform and secure method of drug delivery. 

“Poor medical adherence negatively impacts patient’s therapeutic outcomes, leading to more hospitalisations and higher total costs,” said Dr Hanshermann Franke, corp. VP of R&D at LTS. “The main purpose of any innovation must be centered on the idea of making patients’ lives as healthy and comfortable as possible. This can be achieved by designing “smart” solutions that easily integrate, facilitate treatment monitoring and help patients use their medication properly.”

The Smart Patch is equipped with a 2” E Ink electronic paper display (EPD) which leverages the display’s bi-stable nature to ensure the patient doesn’t need to recharge the battery. The patch features a switch, pressure sensor and a low voltage E Ink display that shows helpful information with functionalities including:

  • If the patch is applied correctly to the skin
  • The countdown until the next dose
  • A reminder to remove the patch and to replace it appropriately

“This is the first application to feature E Ink’s low voltage film, which uses 50-70% of the typical driving voltage for EPDs,” said Dr FY Gan, EVP of Sales Center at E Ink. “In addition to minimising power consumption, which results in being able to use a small battery with a  longer battery life, the low voltage film is the thinnest electronic paper film available on the market at less than 200µm, enabling it to fit flawlessly on the TTS.”  

“There are many advantages to TTS technologies, and now we can add a decisive enhancement  –  an E Ink display,” said Dr Tim Schlange, CMO at LTS. “This feature allows LTS to provide functionalities to patients with more reliable, safe and pain-free applications and to further enhance the value of solutions for its partners in the pharmaceutical industry .”

“Medical innovation is happening at an unprecedented rate and we are excited to partner with a company that is providing unique drug delivery systems in the marketplace to improve medical compliance,” said Dr Paul Apen, chief strategy officer at E Ink. “Our displays are a natural fit for this type of drug delivery system as they are thin, have a wide viewing angle and consume minimal power for continued use. This is just one of the ways our display technology is impacting the future of medical applications.”

Caption: The “Smart Patch” prototype (photo: E Ink)

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