Wearable system provides real-time monitoring of respiratory pattern, thoracic motion on tablet PC
A newly developed mobile wearable system promises to deliver accurate real-time assessment of respiratory pattern and thoracic motion noninvasively, according to a feasibility study in Japan.
“An interface that allows tablet PC to integrate with real-time monitoring and total control system using Bluetooth improved portability and will be available in many clinical settings,” the researchers, led by Jun Ueki from Juntendo University, wrote.
The study was presented at the recently concluded Virtual International Congress 2020 of the European Respiratory Society (ERS 2020). It sought to examine the accuracy and usability of the wearable suite using C-STRETCH by Bando Chemical Industries.
C-STRETCH is a capacitance type strain sensor consisting of a highly elastic elastomer film insulation layer and elastic electrically conducting layers made from nanocarbon, the researchers explained.
Twelve healthy volunteers (mean age, 44.3 years; six males and six females) were included and whose breathing conditions were analysed using the mobile wearable system. Participants were asked to breath with a quantitative rating of respiration rate and inspiratory:expiratory (I:E) ratio within the range of 10 to 43 per minute and 1:1 to 1:3, respectively.
Breathing conditions were then tracked using a respiratory profile monitor by wearing a mask. The mean vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second were 95.4 (standard deviation [SD], 10.8) percent and 93.5 (SD, 12.1) percent, respectively.
On Bland Altman analysis, a confirmation was noted on the agreement between respiratory rate and I:E ratios of the volunteers and that of the mobile wearable system, respectively. The limits of agreements were within the range of 78.9 percent to 100 percent. [ERS 2020, abstract 406]
In terms of usability, 92 percent of the participants said they were comfortable and did not feel any tightness in the chest area while using the wearable suite.
“A real-time assessment of breathing condition such as respiratory pattern, thoracic motion, and oxygen saturation is essential in conducting breathing retraining and stretching of thorax as a respiratory conditioning of pulmonary rehabilitation,” the researchers said.
In a 2017 opinion, however, Andrea Aliverti from the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano in Italy stated that one of the major issues hounding wearable devices is that most of these tools are “not medical devices.” [Breathe (Sheff) 2017;13:e27-e36]
The European Union defined medical device as “any instrument, apparatus, appliance, software, implant, reagent, material, or other article intended by the manufacturer to be used, alone or in combination, for human beings for one or more of the following specific medical purposes:
· diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, prediction, prognosis, treatment or alleviation of disease;
· diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of, or compensation for, an injury or disability;
· investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological or pathological process or state….
“which does not achieve its principal intended action by pharmacological, immunological, or metabolic means, in or on the human body, but which may be assisted in its function by such means.” [Off J Eur Union 2017;L117:1-175]
“Nevertheless, there is a general consensus that if developers, researchers, and healthcare providers work together using an approach that consider the requirements of the user, health and wellness services, smart wearable technologies will provide unique opportunities for the future,” Aliverti said.