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An upper body garment with integrated sensors for people with neurological disorders – early development and evaluation
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Materials and Production, IVF. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2679-3307
University of Borås, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: BMC Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 1, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

In neurology and rehabilitation the primary interest for using wearables is to supplement traditional patient assessment and monitoring in hospital settings with continuous data collection at home and in community settings. The aim of this project was to develop a novel wearable garment with integrated sensors designed for continuous monitoring of physiological and movement related variables to evaluate progression, tailor treatments and improve diagnosis in epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

Methods

In this paper the early development and evaluation of a prototype designed to monitor movements and heart rate is described. An iterative development process and evaluation of an upper body garment with integrated sensors included: identification of user needs, specification of technical and garment requirements, garment development and production as well as evaluation of garment design, functionality and usability. The project is a multidisciplinary collaboration with experts from medical, engineering, textile, and material science within the wearITmed consortium. The work was organized in regular meetings, task groups and hands-on workshops. User needs were identified using results from a mixed-methods systematic review, a focus group study and expert groups. Usability was evaluated in 19 individuals (13 controls, 6 patients with Parkinson’s disease) using semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis.

Results

The garment was well accepted by the users regarding design and comfort, although the users were cautious about the technology and suggested improvements. All electronic components passed a washability test. The most robust data was obtained from accelerometer and gyroscope sensors while the electrodes for heart rate registration were sensitive to motion artefacts. The algorithm development within the wearITmed consortium has shown promising results.

Conclusions

The prototype was accepted by the users. Technical improvements are needed, but preliminary data indicate that the garment has potential to be used as a tool for diagnosis and treatment selection and could provide added value for monitoring seizures in epilepsy, fluctuations in PD and activity levels in stroke. Future work aims to improve the prototype further, develop algorithms, and evaluate the functionality and usability in targeted patient groups. The potential of incorporating blood pressure and heart-rate variability monitoring will also be explored.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 1, article id 3
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-39697DOI: 10.1186/s42490-019-0002-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-39697DiVA, id: diva2:1341420
Available from: 2019-08-08 Created: 2019-08-08 Last updated: 2019-08-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1111778580

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Hagström, Bengt

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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