Researchers have developed a smart health connected Hexoskin t-shirt to monitor respiratory activity. An invention that could prove invaluable for people with lung diseases …
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects nearly 64 million people worldwide. This chronic disease, which includes chronic obstructive bronchitis and emphysema, is characterized by degeneration of lung tissue and obstruction of the airways.
It is a chronic disease that affects the lives of people with it every day. It can be treated, but not cured. It is therefore necessary to monitor patients with frequent symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, to predict worsening of the disease to proactively increase treatment.
These symptoms usually occur during daily activitiesfor example when patients go up stairs or do housework. However, it is difficult to monitor breathing during these activities.
Traditionally, surveillance is done in the hospital using equipment such as a health home bike, a mask and a computer. Gold, this bulky equipment is not suitable for observation of daily activities.
To address this problem, a team of researchers presented their smart health connected t-shirt project as part of the European Respiratory Society International Congress. This type of smart clothing already exists on the market, but is mainly used by athletes to measure their performance. The researchers wanted to see if they could also be useful in the health field.
By detecting how torso and abdomen movements of the wearer stretch the tissue, the Hexoskin t-shirt is able to measure the respiratory activity and could thus be very useful for patients with COPD. In addition to the volume of inhaled and exhaled air, the t-shirt is able to measure the heart rate and follow the movements of the body.
Hexoskin offers the same precision as traditional respiratory measuring equipment
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In order to verify the effectiveness of smart health connected clothing, researchers tested it on healthy people while doing their daily activities. Fifteen volunteers agreed to wear the t-shirt while sitting, lying, standing, climbing stairs or vacuuming.
In a second step, the volunteers performed the same activities wearing traditional measuring equipment including a mask and a heavy backpack. The data generated by the two experiments were then compared.
The researchers realized that the measurements made by the t-shirt and those made by the traditional equipment were very similar. In the extended position, the difference between the measurements taken by the two devices was only 0.2% on average. This represents only a few milliliters of air.
The difference was a little bigger in some situationsespecially when the volunteers were vacuuming. The average difference was then 3.1%, or about 40 milliliters of air. The experience therefore confirms that the t-shirt can be used to monitor lung activity accurately.
At present, researchers plan to repeat their tests on people with COPD. In addition, the technology could prove equally useful for people with other respiratory diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis or patients after transplantation.
The goal of the researchers is to improve the quality of life of the patients, and to monitor the symptoms accurately so that they can be treated more quickly and thus limit stays in the hospital. The t-shirt smart health connected to the advantage of being used daily and not to interfere with the patients during their activities.
The collected data can then be obtained and analyzed by health professionals via a smartphone interface. With the rise of artificial intelligence and deep learning, researchers are convinced that the management of this data will be facilitated and that monitoring will be largely automated…
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