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Physio for the home
Date:1/14/2013

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Alongside measurements of movements, therapists need to know their patients' vital signs in other words pulse, oxygen saturation levels and, in some cases, readings from an electrocardiogram. This allows them not only to assess whether the patient is performing exercises correctly but also how much of a strain they are. This is particularly important when dealing with people who have a cardiovascular disease. "In light of this, we also developed a mobile unit," says Dr. Michael John, project manager at FOKUS. "Sensors placed in a chest strap, watch or walking stick measure vital signs like pulse, blood pressure or the quality of the patient's movement, sending the data to a smartphone." The therapist can set threshold values using the exercise editor; for example, if a patient's pulse reaches a level that exceeds the limit set for them, a warning signal is emitted.

On the one hand, the mobile unit serves to complement the physio box, but it is also supposed to help patients in future to do their exercises while on the move out walking or during office breaks, perhaps. "We're working on how to get the mobile unit to analyze the patient's quality of movement as well. To do this, we're using motion tracking sensors that analyze limb movements in relation to each other and in terms of absolute position," explains John. The researchers are also currently working on a transmission standard for movement measurement data, as well as on how to standardize these values so that they can be read by a variety of devices. There is already a standard, ISO 11073, for data relating to the vital signs. This specifies how to transmit data between devices, thus ensuring that data can be transferred between sensors, smartphones and medical devices from a variety of manufacturers without any problems. "We're in the process of developing a similar standard for movement measurement data, in collaboration with doctors and therapists," says John.

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Contact: Michael John
michael.john@fokus.fraunhofer.de
49-303-463-7400
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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