Sensing devices, directly embedded into textiles, have been developed by EU-funded researchers in an attempt to make healthcare more practical, efficient and comfortable for both physicians and patients.
Healthwear (remote health monitoring with wearable non-invasive mobile system) uses sensors that collect all required information into a Portable Patient Unit (PPU) device, which is then transmitted via a secure GPRS (general packet radio service) mobile connection to a central server.
Head of eHealth Unit at Sotiria General Chest Disease Hospital in Athens, Dr Theodore Vontetsianos said, “Remote monitoring is ideally suited to patients suffering from chronic diseases or recovering from an incident, such as a heart attack, who would otherwise have to spend longer in hospital or visit their doctor more frequently for check-ups.”
As well as the less invasive nature of the device, the €990,000 funded system also gives caregivers a solid look at how patients are progressing over time, as well as allowing them to interact with patients via videophone. A number of trials have been undertaken at Sotiria Hospital with the results showing that both patients and physicians are satisfied with the quality of the device.
Alexis Milsis, eHealth unit research engineer said, “The technology is both simple to use and transparent. Patients and physicians do not want to be surrounded by cables and different devices that they have to plug in. this is especially important since the patients being monitored are usually elderly.”