Fiber2Fashion.com | 21 October 2016 |
Researchers from the University of Rhode Island (URI) College of Engineering are working on creating smart gloves, socks and other clothing items capable of monitoring people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. These wearable items are embedded with sensors, electronics and software that can collect data to be monitored by healthcare professionals. Kunal Mankodiya, director of URI’s Wearable Biosensing Laboratory and his team of students are working on developing gloves featuring sensors that detect tremors and rigidity that are the common symptoms of Parkinson’s. These gloves are connected to smartphones that send the data to neurologists for remote treatment, thus eliminating the need for stressful clinical visits, says an official statement on the URI website.
“Patients with Parkinson’s face many mobility issues—driving and even walking long distances. The glove will give patients the option of receiving health care while remaining at home, and it also reduces the risk of falls and other accidents,” said Mankodiya. Mankodiya is also working on sensor-embedded socks for patients who have suffered strokes that use the same technology. These socks can examine the walking stride and can quantify the movements of ankle joints and knees to find subtle irregularities that require therapy. Mankodiya represents URI’s College of Engineering in Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, a federally-funded organization based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The group is a partnership between industry and academia that is sparking a manufacturing revolution by turning traditional fibers, yarns and fabrics into high-tech devices. The smart gloves project was made possible through National Science Foundation grants. (KD) – Courtesy