MedGizmo: Healthcare Smart Textiles – Part 3
Continuation of MedGizmo Overview – with a focus on e-textiles use for monitoring purposes
This is the third Post of our Healthcare Smart Textiles series. The first two Post can be accessed HERE and HERE
We would like to post this illustration form a detailed analysis: A review of wearable sensors and systems with application in rehabilitation
Health monitoring applications of wearable systems most often employ multiple sensors that are typically integrated into a sensor network either limited to body-worn sensors or integrating body-worn sensors and ambient sensors. In the early days of body-worn sensor networks (often referred to as “body sensor networks”) now developed into WBSN – wireless body sensor network (BSN)
Most sensors adopt a combination of TinyOS operating system and IEEE 802.15.4 (ZigBee) as the radio interface.
The following is a typical example of such product:
Wearable Wellness System (WWS) by Smartex
- A sensorized garment
- An electronic device dedicated to the acquisition, the processing and the storage of the data
- A complete software kit to be used in order to manage and visualize the acquired data and to configure the electronic device
- 1 electrocardiographic signal (ECG), lead parallel to DI
- 1 respiratory signal (torax) body movements
- Heart rate and respiration rate
- Quality indexes for ECG and respiratory signals
- Heart rate variability (simpato-vagal index)
- Posture and/or activity classification (lying, standing, walking, running)
- Estimation of energy expenditure step/minute
A very unusual application of e-textiles is provided by a German Future Shape company
SensFloor® in care – large-area sensor system provides support in the event of fall detection or wandering behavior.
Proximity-sensitive SensFloor underlay detects individuals moving across the sensor floor. The evaluation unit of the system signals the presence, wandering behaviour, or an alarm to the nursing staff when a fallen patient has been detected.
SensFloor– is a thin, sensor-studded textile designed to be installed underneath the carpet. Each square meter of the fabric is imbedded with sensors that measure capacitance — changes to the local electric field that occur when a person (or any other conductive object) touches it. To communicate the activity of these sensors, the fabric also sports an array of radio modules that transfer the collected data to a control module, where activity can be monitored and analyzed in real time
“SensFloor can be assembled according to individual needs of nursing homes as well as of assisted accommodations. Our goal is to relieve carers in their daily work routine and at the same time allow high-maintenance patients more scope of freedom without the need of sedation or fixation.
The system can be adapted to nurse call systems. In case of an event, alarms can be transmitted to the infrastructure of the call system and made visible with signalling lights, pagers, or the main staff computer of the nursing ward. This allows care personnel to know at a glance when and where help is needed. The SensFloor system is suitable for public buildings and has already been used in care homes for Alzheimer patient”
Light therapy finds applications in dermatology, wound healing, treatment of neonatal jaundice, neuropathy, blood circulation damages, circadian sleep rhythm disorders.
Light therapy can be used in treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer diseases.
Photodynamic therapy is important in antitumor immunity - it is targeting the tumor cells, and light affects exactly the cancer cells.
Some of these solutions are available on the market, such as the BlueTouch Technology by Philips
Biomedical sensors, consisted of plastic optical fibers (POF) are integrated into common fabrics.
This scholarly article describes the process: Photonic textiles for pulse oximetry
Strain or stress measurement
These are the source of information on mechanical deformations and displacements - provide kinematic analysis. Used in dental medicine, ulcer prevention, deviations of spinal curvatures and related diseases. Wearable sensor arrays integrated into textiles are used to control patient body position for a long period.
Some examples are cited in these papers
A Textile-Based Wearable Sensing Device Designed for Monitoring the Flexion Angle of Elbow and Knee Movements
Sensor for Measuring Strain in Textile
Zishi Posture Sensing Garment
Posture monitoring and correction technologies can support prevention and treatment of spinal pain or can help detect and avoid compensatory movements during the neurological rehabilitation of upper extremities, which can be very important to ensure their effectiveness. We focus on the design and development of Smart Rehabilitation Garment (SRG) a wearable system designed to support posture correction. The SRG combines a garment with integrated smart textiles and wearable electronics and an application runs on smart devices. Providing feedback with vibration on the garment, audible alarm signals, visual instruction and training overview.
Other MedGizmo Posts on the subject:
- Post 1 – A bit of history, theory and general applications of e-textiles
- Post 2 - Medical and hygiene e-textile products, rehabilitation
- Post 4 - e-textiles for biochemical analysis, emotional care, cardiac monitoring, delivery through the skin
Image by MedGizmo