Wearable technology can monitor rehabilitation

December 13, 2012
Neurorehabilitation researchers from Italy have developed a low cost, wearable system, consisting of strain sensors made of conductive elastomers printed onto fabric. Credit: Paolo Tormene

Wearable technology is not only for sports and fashion enthusiasts it can also be used to monitor and aid clinical rehabilitation according to new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BioMedical Engineering OnLine.

Neurorehabilitation researchers from Italy have developed a low cost, wearable system, consisting of strain sensors made of conductive printed onto fabric. A low voltage battery powers the sensors, which are then able to send data to a computer via Bluetooth.

In this case study a wireless inertial sensor (MEMS) containing triaxial accelerometers and magnetometers was used to validate the accuracy of their results. Tested in a healthy subject the wearable sensors were used to collect a comprehensive set of over 600 different movements, at varying speeds and number of repetitions, over a range of movements. In all examples the wearable sensor was accurately able to measure movement.

This device will allow remote monitoring of physiotherapy exercises at home, posture, or flexibility during normal . Dr Michelangelo Bartolo who led this study explained, "So far we have only looked at trunk movements, which can be used to monitor flexibility and core stability. This system is not aimed at high precision but is an easy-to-use, inexpensive device, and is a real advancement in the development of portable, of rehabilitation."

Explore further: Life signs will be heard from the top of the world

More information: Estimation of human trunk movements by wearable strain sensors and improvement of sensor's placement on intelligent biomedical clothes Paolo Tormene, Michelangelo Bartolo, Alessandro Marco De Nunzio, Federica Fecchio, Silvana Quaglini, Cristina Tassorelli and Giorgio Sandrini BioMedical Engineering OnLine (in press) www.biomedical-engineering-online.com/

Related Stories

Asthma monitoring on the Web

August 22, 2008

An inexpensive web-enabled device for measuring lung function in patients with asthma and other disorders is being developed by researchers at Texas Instruments, in Bangalore, India, and co-workers. Writing in the International ...

Impact sensor provides athletic support

May 14, 2010

As athletes strive for perfection, sports scientists need to exploit every technological advance to help them achieve that goal. Researchers in New Zealand have now developed a new type of wearable impact sensor based that ...

Wearable sensor technology to measure physical activity

September 15, 2010

Researchers from Michigan State University's departments of Electrical Engineering and Kinesiology are teaming up to create a new wearable sensor network to assess a person's physical activity and overall well-being.

Health monitoring? There's an app for that

March 9, 2012

Researchers in New Zealand have developed a prototype Bluetooth-enabled medical monitoring device that can be connected wirelessly to your smart phone and keep track of various physiological parameters, such as body temperature, ...

Recommended for you

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.