Millions of people suffer strokes every day, and many are so severe that the patient requires long-term care. But it is tough for doctors to track their patients in their daily activities. A suit created by a Dutch Grad student might be the new revolutionary tool in keeping tabs on stroke patients.
Bart Klaassen, from the Netherlands’ University of Twente, and his team pursued it as part of a project resulting from Europe’s FP7 research initiative. Klaassen’s doctoral thesis is based on the same work.
The idea behind it is that while patients are closely watched at the rehabilitation clinic or in regular checkups, real-world activities such as getting out of bed, going to the house and cooking can only be monitored based on old reports.
“There has long been a great need for systems like this, but the technology simply was not ready,” explained Klaassen in a news release from the school. But with many projects on the same line, it has become clear that this isn’t the case anymore. Sensors can be made small, fabric comfortable and the resulting data can be made logical. Sensor-studded suits and not an improbability now, it is a significant advance in the field of science.
This suit is worn underneath the clothes and has 41 sensors. It records various things over several months such as flexibility, gait, strength, etc.in, wireless and the data is collect on university servers.
“We have succeeded in modelling all of the relevant movements, and in cleaning up the data that is relevant for the therapist by filtering out the rest,” said Klaassen. “Our project has delivered new techniques and methods that can be used to monitor patients at home for extended periods of time, and to identify any differences with structured clinical measurements.”
It is possible that this technology can be used for other patients too than those suffering from stroke. But as of now this suit is based solely in stroke patients. If the suit proves to be useful, then it can even be expanded to other forms of physical therapy.