Wearable technology can monitor rehabilitation

Dec 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: Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

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/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wearable sensor technology to measure physical activity

Sep 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 ...

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 ...

Health monitoring? There's an app for that

Mar 09, 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, ...

Asthma monitoring on the Web

Aug 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 Jo ...

Recommended for you

Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

16 hours ago

A century-old firm that's done custom metal work for some of the nation's most prestigious buildings has combined 3-D printing and an ancient foundry process for a project at the National Archives Building in Washington, ...

Wearable device helps vision-impaired avoid collision

Mar 26, 2015

People who have lost some of their peripheral vision, such as those with retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, or brain injury that causes half visual field loss, often face mobility challenges and increased likelihood ...

Applications of optical fibre for sensors

Mar 26, 2015

Mikel Bravo-Acha's PhD thesis has focused on the applications of optical fibre as a sensor. In the course of his research, conducted at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, he monitored a sensor fitted to optical fibre ...

User comments : 0

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.