Individuals with severe asthma know to prevent circumstances or particular situations or activities, but even then, attacks may still happen. This is exactly why researchers at the North Carolina State University are creating a wearable early warning device referred to as the Health and Environmental Tracker (HET). Consisting primarily of a wristband and chest patch, the device monitors patients’ bodies and their environment, sending an alert when an attack may be imminent.
The adhesive chest patch tracks the wearer’s movements, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygenation, and not only that, it also monitors for the presence of wheezing sounds in their lungs. As the wristband similarly detects movement, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, it is more concerned with tracking environmental factors such as airborne volatile organic compounds and ozone, along with ambient humidity and temperature.
Coupled with lung-function readings from a non-wearable spirometer (that the individual breathes into many times each day), information in the two products is wirelessly transmitted to a smartphone, where it is analyzed by an app. The patient will be warned so they may take action for example slowing their present exercise if it has been detected that an attack is likely to happen.
HET has a at least one crucial distinction – it might fundamentally be driven from the individual’s actions and body heat even if, comparable methods have now been created before.
The uniqueness of this work is not simply the integration of various sensors in wearable form factors. The impact here is that we have been able to demonstrate power consumption levels that are in the sub-milliwatt levels by using nano-enabled novel sensor technologies. Comparable, existing devices have power consumption levels in the hundreds of milliwatts,” says research team member Prof. Veena Misra.