Swedish hygiene and health company Essity has joined a European research project called Sustronics, which aims to develop circular electronic products. The project, which involves companies and universities from 11 countries, will create sensor-based digital solutions for self and professional care.
The main goal of Sustronics is to transform the European electronics industry and promote a more circular economy through eco-design, bio-based materials, and energy-efficient manufacturing. The project will redesign electronic products to become circular, compostable, and reusable products while highlighting business opportunities in sustainable electronics.
The research project consists of nine pilot studies with a focus on healthcare and diagnostics. Prototypes will be developed, and life cycle assessments and methods for eco-design will be applied to ensure sustainability.
Essity is leading and participating in two pilot studies. The first study aims to develop a reusable sensor integrated into incontinence products that measures temperature, humidity, and enzymes to prevent skin problems related to incontinence and improve healthcare quality. The sensor uses data and AI algorithms to provide insights to users or carers about issues such as skin health directly to a smartphone.
The second pilot study involves the development of a smart wound dressing fitted with sensors that measure temperature, pH, and biomarkers for infection in the wound. This solution has the potential to enhance patient well-being and reduce healthcare costs.
According to Tuomas Yrjölä, President Global Brand, Innovation, and Sustainability at Essity, “Advances in sensor technology can significantly improve preventive care and be a game changer for large patient groups. Through the Sustronics research project, we can further strengthen our innovative capacity while improving people’s health and well-being and contributing to a more sustainable and circular society.”