MedGizmo: Smart Textiles in Healthcare – Part 2
This is second Post of our Healthcare Smart Textiles series. The first Post can be access HERE
Now, lets us have a look at some existing and latest additions of e-Textiles that are used for medical purposes.
Medical and hygiene textile products
e-Textile fabric and garments can be used in surgical apparel, patient bedding materials, bandages, and other medical and hygiene products such as surgical gauze, nappies, and incontinence products. The temperature-regulating surgical clothing can increase the thermophysical comfort of doctors. As bedding fabrics such as mattress cover, sheets, and blankets, the temperature-regulating textiles can improve the comfort of patients. Heating blankets were developed for gently and controllably reheating hypothermia patients.
Operating Room Scrubs
Fitted decubitus sheet
A valuable contribution in the prevention of bed sores
With the fitted decubitus sheet, Schoeller has introduced a product of true innovation to the field of medical textiles. The tissue’s unique structure and the combination of materials used can make a valuable contribution in the prevention of bed sores. Moisture transport is enhanced and the level of friction reduced both in dry and humid state, making the sheet friendly to the skin.
Confitex incontinence underwear
Confitex for the first time manufactured incontinence underwear. “Wherever you go, whatever you do, your Confitex underwear will remain your secret. It will also arrive packed in a plain brown box or grey plastic bag – no giveaway logo or indiscreet words.”
Now you can:
- Shop with confidence – even use dreaded shared changing rooms
- Use the gym knowing your underwear looks just like other people's undies
- Line-dry your stylish undies confident they look like normal underwear
- Breeze through doctor's visits free of pad-embarrassment
- Know we’ll always be discreet – our plain packaging will never give you away
ARTUS", the ARTificial UteruS
With this "smart textile", the Hohenstein researches are for the first time taking a new therapeutic approach to preventing developmental problems in premature babies by sensory-motor means.
ARTUS" can recreate the environment and sensory stimulation of a mother's womb in the incubator.
Acoustic stimuli like the mother's heartbeat and voice are transmitted to the premature baby, together with mechanical sensations like the gentle rocking experienced in the mother's body.
Neonatologists, i.e. specialists in newborn and premature babies, are currently assessing the effectiveness of ARTUS for tiny babies by observing it in use
New Moon from ComfTech
Wireless monitoring of newborns
ComfTech, a neologism for ‘comfortable technology’, is an Italian SME specialising in the design and production of non-invasive wearable biomedical systems with sensors integrated in clothing. "We developed our wearable monitoring system with three objectives in mind: the system would have to be accurate and reliable, comfortable and wireless with no impact on ‘bonding moments’, and very easy to use."
It is important to note that the system has not been designed to avoid the visual monitoring recognition implemented by nurses, but rather to complement it with real data (ECG, respiration). In case of anomaly, the monitoring system immediately sends a notification to the caregiver.
We have covered some developments in this Post: MedGizmo: Wearables and Rehabilitation
Suit for Disabled Patients
Ekso Bionics, a company focusing on neurorehabilitation for victims of stroke or spinal cord injury, takes this concept a step further with its robotic exoskeletons. The wearable bionic suits help facilitate rehabilitation for individuals with lower extremity weakness, literally helping people learn to walk again through "gait training" exercises.
Vigour Product Service System
Fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has developed a knitted cardigan with integrated stretch sensors that measures the movement of elderly wearers
Vigour is a Product Service System that enables geriatric patients, physiotherapists and family to gain more insight in the exercises and progress of a rehabilitation process. A knitted cardigan with integrated stretch sensors monitors the movements of the upper body, and communicates this data to the service provider.
The garment can be worn as part of a normal outfit to gather data during the day, or used during rehabilitation sessions to provide the physiotherapist with details of the patient's progress.
Intelligent t-shirts patient biomonitoring platform
Scientists at la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M - Carlos III University in Madrid) who participate in the LOBIN consortium have developed an “intelligent” t- shirt that monitors the human body (temperature, heart rate, etc.) and locates patients within the hospital, as if it were a GPS system that works in closed spaces; it can even determine if the subject is seated, lying down, walking or running.
With slight modifications, the prototype can also be applied in other areas, such as applications involving early diagnosis of cardiac anomalies in athletes, or for telemedicine, to monitor patients in their homes, thus reducing the time they must remain admitted to the hospital.
This concludes the second part of our series. More to follow
Image by MedGizmo