Wearable Electronic in health care – the HeartCycle project

HeartCycle.jpgThe most visible use of Wearable Electronic technologies is in consumer products like clothing and bags. The value here is convenience, adding individuality or giving interactive decoration options.

But the potential of Wearable Electronic technologies go far beyond the fashion market. Take for example the health care and medical sector. Nobody likes to get sick or having health problems but this is a fact of our life.

Being in such situation puts already a great strain on a patients life quality. The need of measuring and monitoring body functions means being stationary or having the need to go the doctor or hospital for monitoring. Most of the time highly visible and uncomfortable devices has to be worn during the monitoring of body functions.

This might change soon as a newly formed consortium, comprising 18 research, academic, industrial and medical organizations from 9 different European countries and China, will work to improve the quality of life for coronary heart disease and heart failure patients.

The project name is ‘HeartCycle‘ and aims to create a ‘patient loop’ that gives patients continuous feedback on their state of health, their progress towards achieving health status milestones, plus motivational tips and suggestions for a healthy lifestyle and diet.

Monitoring each patient’s condition will be achieved using a combination of unobtrusive bio-sensors built into the patient’s clothing or bed sheet.

Sensing of an individual patient’s physical exertion, body orientation and ambient environment will provide additional information so that the system can put the monitoring data into context.

The HeartCycle project, for which Philips Research is acting as project coordinator, is one of the largest biomedical and health care research projects within the European Union (EU) and will run for four years.

More infos can be found on www.research.philips.com

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