Wearable Monitoring Systems based on Sensing Textile Platforms for Remote Care of Motion Impairments
Dr. Rita Paradiso, PhD, CEO SMARTEX s.r.l. ; Laboratori: via Giuntini 13, L Polo Scientifico e Tecnologico, 56023 Navacchio – Pisa Italy.
The analysis of human movement is generally performed by measuring kinematic variables of anatomic segments with accelerometers, electrogoniometers, electromagnetic sensors or cameras. Conventional sensors often require the application of complex and uncomfortable mechanical plug in order to embed the sensors in the garments, or their use is confined in a defined space; therefore the possibility of having a well fitting sensing garment provides strong advantages in terms of effectiveness and motivation, for these reasons wearable monitoring systems are suitable candidate for ambulatory assistance in a naturalistic setting, as they enable design and production of non-obtrusive well fitting garments with distributed sensors and electrodes..
A wearable monitoring system has to sense, to recognize and to classify information like posture, gesture, activity, physical interaction with the environment, and to combine them with physiological signals, like electromyography, galvanic skin impendence, electrocardiogram, respiratory signal, heart rate variability, etc. These sensing platforms provide a complete description of the subject in term of physical activity and physiological state through a multivariable analysis. By combining this set of information, a virtual model of the subject can be created and used to provide assistance in real time, while in a long term study, all the collected data allow to analyze the trend of the parameters, to correlate and use them to improve the virtual model and to adjust the therapeutic intervention. The wearable sensing systems are conceived to work in a remote environment without any supervision, to this purpose the technology has to be robust and user friendly.
A redundant distribution of sensors and the use of data fusion allow to go beyond the sole movements recognition, new metrics can be applied, and parameters like the gestures fluidity or the movement intensity can be evaluated, information that are easily recognized by our brain but that are difficult to measure
However, also the use of a minimal configuration of sensors can be sufficient to provide feedback to the therapist and to the patients about physical activity and motor capability. These features will be more accurate and reliable if the sensors are located close to the signal body source and after the execution of a calibration protocol.
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Mercredi 24 janvier