Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 06, 2015

Sensoria and RespondWell Use Next-Gen Sensing Technology for Rehabilitation

An aging population, rising healthcare costs and emerging technologies are pushing medical professionals to deliver innovative ways to provide care for their patients. Whether it is monitoring the rising number of patients with chronic diseases or keeping an eye on individuals undergoing physical rehabilitation, they can now receive care in the comfort of their own home. The convergence of mobile technology, cloud computing, wireless broadband and wearables has introduced many new possibilities in the market place. Sensoria and RespondWell have used these same technologies to announce the creation of a next generation monitoring services using wearable textile for rehabilitation at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas.

Sensoria is a developer of new generation wearable solutions, and as the company states, its vision is to make “the garment the computer,” which is what it has done with its smart sock. Using the sock and RespondWell’s cloud-based Patient Engagement Platform, they were able to create a solution that gives virtual therapist on a tablet or large display screen the ability to monitor patients while performing gait and balance exercises by receiving instant feedback.

The Sensoria smart sock has a proprietary textile pressure sensors connected to a lightweight anklet with an accelerometer, local storage and Bluetooth Smart communication. Together they can measure steps, repetitions, activity, balance and plantar pressure. The data generated by the device and the patient can be transmitted to a mobile device and to the cloud for real-time alerts, and ex-post analytics and behavioral feedback.

“By using the Sensoria Sock we become part of the patient's daily workflow, which means more data collected on patient health status. Patients using our assessment and physical therapy solution can benefit from the dynamic feedback provided by the Sensoria sock and anklet,” said RespondWell Chief Executive Officer John Grispon.

Using the Microsoft Kinect sensor and the smart sock, patients are monitored remotely while receiving rehabilitation instructions from their therapists. With the right set of encouragement, challenges and rewards, the rehabilitation experience is reinforced using gamification to ensure continued participation and adherence. The process also involves a comprehensive data collection protocol to assess the progress of each patient as the rehabilitation moves along. This includes a range of modules with general wellness as well as prevention, pulmonary, senior fitness, pre-diabetic and specific therapies that can be personalized for each patient.

Once a therapy has been assigned, the patient can use his or her favorite device and follow the instructions on their screen to complete the routines. The Sensoria Developer Kit has been created to take in to consideration many different user case scenarios for patient rehabilitation, such as gait exercises and function to improve dynamic balance for elderly individuals. According to RespondWell, the combined efforts of both companies can have additional applications in the future, including helping stroke patients with rehab, disease management, sports rehabilitation and improve general wellness.

“Sensoria is two things: a development platform and an integrated suite of smart garments that can turn gait and activity analytics into meaningful behavioral feedback,” said Sensoria Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Davide Vigano.

According to IHS, demand for telemedicine is slated to grow tenfold from 2013 to 2018, accounting for $4.5 billion in deployments. As the growth of broadband wireless and smart mobile devices continues to increase globally, the delivery of quality medical care will be available to patients around the world, solving the sub-par or minimal medical care many countries still continue to experience. The solution by Sensoria and RespondWell is just a small glimpse of the services that will be available to everyone in the future. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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