“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

This is an old proverb that we have come across as a child. Nowadays people are more health conscious and prone to fitness this proverb is still in effect but with some modification.

With the increased use of technologies, healthy food with smart devices helps us to keep the doctor away, more precisely.

Many of us are well accustomed to the term IoMT i.e. Internet of Medical Things and within this whole topic, a small part is ‘Smart Material’ within the Health Care Industry. Let us dig in and learn more about it.


What is a Smart Material?

A smart material is a material that has the propensity to change its shape, solubility, orientation, or phase to produce medically desired results according to external stimuli like temperature, pressure, pH, electric field, etc. The biomechanical applications of these devices range from monitoring and diagnostics, therapeutic and drug delivery to rehabilitation and surgery. Continuous monitoring of human activities can help to keep in check the progression of diseases and the required treatment can be given at a particular time. This inline progression of information technology has brought about efficient changes in the healthcare industry.

Ex: Sportswear with ventilation valves (reaction to temperature and humidity) that opens the valves when the body temperature increases and closes when the body temperature lowers.

Types of smart material:

  1. Piezoelectric material:  Material that can produce electric energy when mechanical stress is given.
  2. Photoactive Materials that interact with the electromagnetic field of light and modify as per the requirement.
  3. Chromoactive material: The changed color when subjected to certain variations due to temperature, pressure, light, etc. 
  4. Shape memory alloy (SMA, widely used in IoMT ) :  It is a type of smart material that can change its microstructure as per requirement. Shape memory effect (works on flexibility) and pseudo elasticity (stress-induced transformation) are two effects on which smart materials work in medical applications.


What is Smart Material in the healthcare industry?

The human body is composed of atoms and molecules that combine to form organs (heart, lungs, stomach, etc.) which further combine to form a system (Cardiovascular system, digestive system, respiratory system, etc.) and the system forms our whole body. The biomedical applications for the smart devices range from diagnostics and monitoring, therapeutic and drug delivery to rehabilitation and surgery. This continuous monitoring of human health can determine the extent of diseases so that required treatment can be given at the right time. Such an ecosystem with inline progress in information technology is enhancing smart health care inside and outside of the four walls of the hospital.

Medical devices incorporated with smart materials must include transducers that must have direct contact with skin or biological substances like sweat, tears, blood, etc. which would help monitor their responses to the situations around them. 

Innovation in the field of healthcare:



  1. Electronic health records(EHRc): Data management of thousands of patients is a hectic job and misplacement of any record can prove to be fatal, clouds are great storing places for this information. This helps staff to deliver required information in minimum time. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/369299264/figure/fig2/AS:11431281127332419@1678998096341/AI-based-Patient-Monitoring-System.png
  2. AI monitoring devices: The health condition of every patient can be checked by the doctor or nurses from their cabins or anywhere with sensors installed around the patients or in their bodies. 
  3. Smart Wearable:  Smartwatches have become the best friend of every person, keeping their every step and action in check. 
  4. Heath tracker: The heart rate, blood sugar, pressure everything can be measured at home and sent to the doctor via media.
  5. Nowadays appointments and check-ups are done virtually, which is of great help for elderly people for whom traveling is hazardous.
  6. Others include- virtual nurses, Smart diagnosis devices, Heart trackers, glucose monitoring devices, etc.

Compositions of smart material:

  1. Semiconductors,
  2. metal and alloys,
  3. polymers,
  4. hydrogels,
  5. ceramics.

Examples of materials usage:

  1. Thin and stretchable polymer – brain and skin
  2. Micromachined semiconductor reservoirs – e capsules  
  3. Polymer-based micro needles – skin patch drug delivery
  4. SMA based actuators – bladder
  5. Polymer-based tactile sensors – prosthetic hands

Smart technology has brought dynamic changes in the medical field. It has equipped medical professionals with innovative materials that enhance client satisfaction. In the medical field quality is everything.


In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the integration of smart materials has emerged as a transformative force, offering unprecedented capabilities for monitoring, diagnostics, and therapeutic interventions. Smart materials, responsive to external stimuli such as temperature, pressure, and light, exhibit dynamic properties that hold immense potential in the biomedical realm. From sportswear with ventilation valves to shape memory alloys used in IoMT, these materials are reshaping the way we perceive and manage health.

The diverse range of smart materials, including piezoelectric materials, photoactive materials, chromoactive materials, and shape memory alloys, underscores their versatility in addressing complex medical challenges. These materials are not merely components; they represent a paradigm shift in healthcare, providing solutions that adapt to the unique needs of individuals and enable personalized, responsive care.

As technology continues to advance, smart materials pave the way for innovations such as electronic health records, AI monitoring devices, smart wearables, and health trackers. The seamless integration of these technologies fosters a connected healthcare ecosystem, where information flows effortlessly, enabling quicker and more informed decision-making. Electronic health records stored in secure clouds ensure efficient data management, while AI-driven monitoring devices empower healthcare professionals to remotely assess patient well-being.

Smart wearables, including smartwatches and health trackers, have become indispensable companions, offering real-time insights into vital health metrics. Virtual appointments and check-ups have become commonplace, providing a lifeline for the elderly and those facing travel challenges. The healthcare landscape is no longer confined to hospital walls; it extends into homes, supported by smart technologies that enhance accessibility and convenience.

In essence, the marriage of smart materials and healthcare represents a symbiotic relationship that propels the industry toward unprecedented heights. The focus on quality, enabled by smart technologies, ensures that medical professionals are equipped with innovative tools, ultimately enhancing the overall satisfaction of patients. As we navigate this era of smart healthcare, the journey is marked by continuous innovation and a commitment to harnessing the full potential of smart materials for the betterment of human health.

Reference :

  1. https://ecs.syracuse.edu/research/smart-materials-for-healthcare
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590183420300119
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9862021/
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320611899_Smart_Materials_in_Medical_Applications
  5. https://www.impactmybiz.com/blog/smart-technology-in-healthcare/