Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering in Germany developed an innovative system to monitor the respiratory status in patients suffering from a variety of cardiac and pulmonary conditions. The technology is designed to guide and optimize lifestyles of patients:
The digital assistant acts as a navigation device and tells the cyclists about places of interest with the aid of video clips. More than anything, however, it takes care of the person’s health needs, as ISST project manager Thomas Königsmann reports: “The PDA suggests suitable tours and monitors the patient’s respiration values during the bicycle tour.” In the evening, the doctor can check out the data and get an idea of how the patient’s health is progressing. If necessary, he or she can adjust the medication dosage on the basis of the data obtained.
The patient’s respiration can be monitored with the RespiSENS measuring system developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. This is integrated directly in an item of clothing, and registers how fast and how strongly the wearer is breathing. The measurements are taken with the aid of respiration straps, which are conductors integrated into a T-shirt in a zig-zag pattern across the patient’s chest and stomach, and which emit an electric signal when expanded. The raw data are transmitted to a tiny module that records and processes them, then transmits the information to a cell phone or a PDA. If the value fails to reach a certain pre-defined level, the system sets off an alarm. “The device requires only a very low current, and is so small that it causes no discomfort in the patient’s clothing,” says project manager Andreas Tobola. “The module itself is no bigger than a matchbook, and then there is a small rechargeable battery for the power supply.” The measuring system is suitable for a wide range of applications: in the diagnosis of sleep disorders, in remote care of patients or even in sports. Professional and amateur athletes can use it to measure their breathing rate and effort with great reliability.
Fraunhofer investigators will be presenting their technology at CeBIT in Hanover on March 4 through 9.
Press release: Digital assistant monitors respiration…
Flashbacks: Bio-Shirt: The Korean Wearable Medgadget ; ECG-Shirt; SmartShirt: A Breathable Fabric (That Monitors Your Breathing); LifeShirt: Clothes that Feel Back; Dressed Smart: the Wearable Health System