The next evolution of smart fabric monitoring
Though the concept of smart fabrics being used to monitor the wearer’s health isn’t a new concept, the latest development has seen a group of 14 partners create an adaptable T-shirt named the ‘Chronius Project’. The partners, hailing from eight countries across Europe, have been supported in their endeavour by funding from the European Commission with a brief initially focusing only on patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
However, the open modular design of the T-shirt means it is versatile enough to accommodate a much wider range of incurable chronic illnesses which require long-term care and treatment. The T-shirt features a variety of interchangeable sensors which can be combined in a number of ways depending on the wearer’s illness. Monitoring such things as the heart and respiratory system, the T-shirt is designed to work in conjunction with various external digital devices, like weight scales, blood pressure monitors and glucometers, all feeding data to a connected smartphone or PDA. The data is sent to the relevant healthcare provider and assessed with the aid of intelligent software.
To read the latest edition of Healthcare Global, click here
- Autism diagnosis could be possible
- Icon gives her name to new holistic cancer centre
- London 2012 organisers unveil athletes' health clinic
Having trailed the technology, TeSAN’s R&D Manager, Roberto Ross, commented:
“Currently treating such disease requires patients to visit their doctor or specialist frequently for check-ups to monitor their progress. This is inconvenient for patients and doctors, it’s costly for healthcare providers, and the treatment may not always be optimal because of insufficient or inaccurate data.”
By remotely monitoring a patient’s health, it is hoped that routine visits will be reduced and healthcare systems across the world can reallocate the time to patients requiring more direct care. Trials by TeSAN have shown that remote monitoring can reduce a patient’s visit to a medical facility by almost 30 percent. This, coupled with the added benefit that by utilising the technology those who live by themselves are connected to carers via an alert system should a serious incident happen, has generated further interest.
So far there has been interest from healthcare providers across the world, with further trails expected in European countries, such as the UK, Spain and Sweden in the near future.