University of Rhode Island (URI) Professor Kunal Mankodiya, director of the university’s Wearable Biosensing Laboratory, is leading research into how medical technology integrated into gloves, socks, clothing and shoes can generate crucial patient information for doctors without patients even leaving the house.
“Patients with Parkinson’s face many
mobility issues — driving and even walking long distances,’’ Mankodiya said. “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.’’
The lab is working on smart textiles, like
a wristband that tracks tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease, or gloves
that track both tremors and rigidity in the finders and thumbs. These tools
will allow doctors to better treat the symptoms while making it easier for
them to access that information.
Additionally, researchers in the lab are
working on a smartwatch app that would track data on patients with autism.
“I hope the watch will help these patients
learn about themselves and make it easier for the parents and caregivers to
know what’s going on,’’ Nick Peltier, a senior studying computer science, said. “Let’s
say a response is triggered every Tuesday, at the same time, on the patient’s
smartwatch. The next step would be to determine what’s happening during that
time on that day so the person can make adjustments.’’
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