“Smart” disposable diapers being developed by the state-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) are likely to hit the market this year, the institute said recently.
The electronic diapers should be ready for sale by the end of this year once non-woven fabrics manufacturer KNH Enterprise Co (康那香) makes final adjustments to its sensor computing system, said Chiou Yii-tay (邱以泰), a special assistant at the institute’s Cloud Service Application Center.
KNH is one of three companies, along with medical device provider Sinopulsar Technology Inc (華星科技) and inorganic material supplier Hua Mao Nano-Tech Co (華楙生技), that are working on the new product with the institute, Chiou said.
Designed to enhance the quality of long-term healthcare, the diapers will let nurses or caretakers know when they need to be changed and are especially suitable for older chronic disease patients, the institute said.
A sensor module in the diaper senses when it has been soiled and sends a wireless transmission signal to a designated phone, informing the phone’s user that a change is needed, said the institute, which unveiled the new product in December last year.
The diapers themselves are also more hygienic and “wearable” than conventional products because of the anti-bacterial and far-infrared non-wovens used to make them, the institute said.
The new diapers and similarly functioning “smart mattresses” have been tested by several of the nation’s healthcare institutes on chronic disease patients, and adjustments are being made based on the response.
The institute said that in the future the diapers can be integrated with other medical care equipment through telecoms, security and cable television systems for cloud data analysis, enabling the development of new health management and medical care services.
Sales of medical devices and equipment reached nearly NT$100 billion (US$3.37 billion) in 2011 and were estimated to increase by 7 percent last year, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
With the number of elderly and chronic disease patients on the rise, the global medical market is believed to have surpassed US$280 billion last year, up from US$270 billion in 2011, the ministry said.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a