Italian researchers prep wearable fabric that monitors rehabilitation


Rehabilitating from an accident can be a slow, tortuous process. Patients have to repeat the same boring set of exercises for days, weeks and months on end with little or no progress. It’s enough to make you scream out in agony(a different sort of agony then the one you are already experiencing.) So, it comes as a relief that wearable technology is trying to make this ordeal easier for people. Thanks wearable technology! It’s good to know you have my broken, painful back.

Neurorehabilitation researchers from Italy have developed a low cost, wearable rehabilitation monitoring system that consists of strain sensors made of conductive elastomers printed onto fabric. A low voltage battery powers the sensors, which are then able to send data to a computer via Bluetooth. What’s the point of all of this tech? To help doctors and patients alike get a minute by minute real time analysis of how their rehabilitation is going. Wasting time on an ineffective set of exercises can be one of the most frustrating parts of the whole thing. This tech can measure up to 600 movements and gauge if they are performed correctly and if the injury is hindering anything. Not bad.

Of course, like so many advanced technologies, this is only in the concept phase for now. Still, the tests have shown a great deal of promise. The researchers hope this will eventually become an inexpensive new way for patients to monitor their own recoveries. Here is hoping they are right. Now, someone get me a massage STAT. Seriously. I could use one.