Smart furniture with flexible wireless sensors integrated into its textiles provides an unobtrusive and non-invasive monitoring system for care environments.
Real-time data is collected, stored, and analysed efficiently, enabling health and lifestyle monitoring through artificial intelligence prediction modelling. This technology offers the potential to use the location, type, and volume of different fluid compositions within a subject’s body to enhance the determination of treatment and care options.
An increase in fluid in the stomach, kidneys and liver can precede an injury in people who are vulnerable to falls due to limited mobility. For example, a sudden change in the physiological compositions within their bodies may cause them to get up suddenly and the weight of the fluid in their organs may affect their balance leading to an increased risk of falls. Low tolerance to wearable monitoring devices is very common in such populations, however technologies capable of noninvasively monitoring bodily fluid compositions are almost non-existent.
To tackle this challenge, University of Edinburgh researchers have developed smart furniture with integrated electromagnetic sensors that offer a comfortable method for real-time collection of in-body fluid data. A combination of current readings and historical data can be processed using artificial intelligence (AI) models not only to monitor, but also potentially predict, the needs of the person under observation and alert caregivers to changes which may require their attention.
The Edinburgh technology is enabled by a textile-based electromagnetic sensor design in combination with integrated microcircuits and sophisticated AI prediction models. The sensors are incorporated within the fabric of the furniture providing a completely unobtrusive and comfortable method of real-time data collection. The system uses the monitoring data to predict how the fluid levels will change over time in the individual under observation. This represents a major transformation over current approaches that estimate bodily fluid compositions using a combination of empirical estimations and clinical diagnosis.
The Edinburgh health monitoring system can be easily fabricated and assembled as various types of furniture, such as beds, cushions, chairs, sofas, etc. Additionally, it has potential applications as a medical-grade device or for use in the home as a lifestyle device integral to one’s living environment.
Please note, the header image is purely illustrative. Source: FG Trade, via Getty Images.