Hospital Gowns Market: Smart Fabrics leveraged for Advanced Patient-Care

Hospital Gowns Market Trends - Inkwood Research

Hospital gowns are vital to the healthcare industry, providing patients with comfortable and practical garments to wear during their hospital stay. For decades, hospital gowns have been simple, one-size-fits-all garments that often leave patients exposed and uncomfortable. Inkwood Research anticipates this to be crucial for the growth of the global hospital gowns market, with an expected 11.55% CAGR during the forecast period, 2023-2032.

An ongoing trend in electronic devices is the emergence of high-volume printable electronic devices that are both flexible and wearable. These devices are being seamlessly integrated into fabric materials, resulting in the creation of smart apparel. Incorporating smart hospital gowns into the healthcare industry can revolutionize patient care and significantly enhance the overall patient experience.

Evolving Patient-Care: Smart Hospital Gowns

Research published in the National Library of Medicine in 2022 (Source) shows that the conventional hospital gown does not adequately address the requirements of both patients and healthcare providers in delivering top-notch healthcare. Traditional hospital gowns have several disadvantages, including discomfort, impracticality, and potential negative effects on patients’ well-being and recovery.

Therefore, smart hospital gowns would represent a move towards prioritizing patient-centered care. Smart gowns, equipped with sensors, wireless connectivity, and advanced technologies, have the potential to automatically adjust the temperature, monitor vital signs, and even provide entertainment or educational content to patients. These advanced hospital gowns can also improve patient comfort and reduce the need for invasive monitoring methods.

However, to fully realize the potential of this technology, various challenges must be addressed, including ensuring patient privacy and data security, addressing cost and scalability issues, and navigating regulatory and ethical considerations. Achieving this goal will necessitate collaboration among all stakeholders involved in the entire gown lifecycle to reduce obstacles to implementation while focusing on meeting the needs of patients.

For instance, there have been collaborations between several organizations, including researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, as of September 2022. This joint effort aims to improve the quality of patient care while promoting greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the healthcare sector. UMass Amherst’s assistant professor, Yeonsik Noh, commented, “A device that can measure vital signs (including heart rates and respiratory rates), intrathoracic fluid status (using thoracic bioimpedance) and heart rhythm may allow for more accurate identification of the early stages of acute decompensation in chronic heart failure patients.” (Source)

Key Components of Smart Hospital Gowns

In the development of the smart hospital gown, three key components are utilized:

  • A Device Fabric Layer
  • Compute and Communication Nodes
  • Sensors

The electronic devices and sensors are placed on a removable fabric layer that can be easily attached to the inside of a standard hospital gown to ensure the functionality and reliability of smart hospital gowns. The sensors collect data continuously, taking readings at intervals of no less than one per second, which is then transmitted to the compute nodes.

The compute nodes operate a data analysis program that cleans the data, eliminates false positives, and transmits the data to the back-end cloud. In addition, the program is designed to identify critical events, which will trigger alerts to notify doctors. A lightweight portable power bank powers the entire system and the heat generated by the compute units. The power bank is minimal and imperceptible to the patient. This innovative design feature allows the gown to be washed and sterilized without compromising the electronic components.

‘Smart’ Future for Hospital Gowns

Wearable technology holds great promise for revolutionizing the healthcare industry, and the smart hospital gown is a prime example of how innovation can lead to improved patient care and outcomes and propel the global hospital gowns market growth. With the global shortage of healthcare personnel predicted by the World Health Organization (WHO), finding ways to optimize productivity and streamline procedures has become crucial. The concept of a smart sensing and computing fabric for the hospital gown has emerged as a potential solution to the issue of manual monitoring and data collection of vital signs, enabling patients to move freely without the need for external wires, sensors, or monitors.

By Sukanya Mukherjee


What are some of the leading growth drivers of the global hospital gowns market?

An increase in the prevalence of healthcare-associated infections, a rise in the number of surgical procedures, and progressive government policies for the safety and hygiene of patients are some of the key growth drivers of the global hospital gowns market.

What are some key trends in the global hospital gowns market?

Rise in the geriatric population across the globe, the increasing prevalence of different diseases, and the emergence of smart hospital gowns are some key trends in the global hospital gowns market.