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Taiwan-made 'smart' disposable diapers to hit market this year
Central News Agency
2013-02-13 07:49 PM
Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) "Smart" disposable diapers" being developed by Taiwan's state-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute are likely to hit the market this year, the institute said recently. The electronic diapers should be ready for sale by the end of 2013 once nonwovens manufacturer KNH Enterprise Co. makes final adjustments to its sensor computing system, said Chiou Yii-tay, 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. and inorganic material supplier Hua Mao Nano-Tech Co., that is working on the new invention with the institute, Chiou said. Designed to enhance the quality of long-term health care, the diapers will let nurses or caretakers know automatically 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 first unveiled the new product in December. The diapers themselves are also more hygienic and "wearable" than conventional products because of the anti-bacterial and far infrared ray nonwovens used to make them, the institute said. The new diapers and similarly functional "smart mattresses" have been tested by several Taiwanese health care institutes on chronic disease patients, and adjustments are being made based on the response. In the future, the institute said, the diapers can be integrated with other medical care equipment through telecom, 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 in Taiwan 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. (By Wei Shu, Alex Jiang and Jeffrey Wu)
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