At North Carolina State University researchers are working on a wearable system that may help predict the onset of asthma attacks, letting patients avoid risky places and situations. The so-called Health and Environmental Tracker (HET) consists of a wrist-worn device, a stick-on chest patch, and a spirometer.
Together, the patch and tracker collect data on the user’s heart and respiratory rates, how the person is moving, blood oxygenation, skin impedance, wheezing in the lungs, as well as environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, and the amount of ozone and volatile organic compounds in the air. The spirometer is used a few times a day for assessing lung function. All the obtained data is then crunched by custom software to provide evaluation and guidance to the patient throughout the day.
The engineers working on the project had to overcome high power demands from so many sensors and managed to reduce consumption so that the technology could last throughout the day on a reasonably sized battery. So far testing was mostly done in the lab and on a few real humans, but plans are in the works to conduct a considerably more involved trial.
Study in IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics: Low Power Wearable Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Environment and Health for Chronic Respiratory Disease
Via: NC State