Highlights from

ERS 2019

The ERS International Congress 2019

Madrid, Spain 28 September - 2 October 2019

Smart shirt as a device to measure tidal volumes in real-life setting

A “smart shirt” was shown to measure tidal volumes reliably in healthy subjects during daily activities [1]. The next step will be testing the wearable device in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

The smart shirt is mainly used by athletes to monitor their lung function, but a recent Dutch study wanted to test it for validity and reproducibility for potential use for patients [1]. Symptoms of disease worsening normally start in exercise situations. However, it is difficult to get realistic values for these situations as lung function tests are mostly performed in a clinical setting, which do not adequately reflect the conditions in which a person is performing everyday tasks like climbing stairs, sitting, or vacuuming. This was the incentive for Denise Mannée (Radboud University Medical Centre, the Netherlands) and her colleagues to compare the tidal volume (TV) measured by the Hexoskin®shirt to TV values from mobile spirometry with an Oxycon Mobile® (OM) in 15 healthy subjects with a mean age of 34.1 years. TV values determined by the shirt were tested against the QCD-calibrated respiratory inductance plethysmography with a breathing mask and backpack. Every test person had to perform the tasks twice to account for reproducibility.

The registered TV ranged from 0.64L ± 0.13L while sitting in a bent position to 1.63L ± 0.49L while climbing stairs. Mobile spirometry and smart shirt values for standing and sitting in a bent position differed 0.2%, stair climbing differed 2.0%, and the biggest disparity appeared while vacuuming (3.1%). A 1% difference equalled about 12 mL of TV. Of note, a new calibration was needed for the second measurement, but in general the researchers valued the smart shirt for its accurate measurement of TV. Ms Mannée concluded, “Ultimately, we want to improve patients’ quality of life. If we can accurately monitor patients’ symptoms while they go about their normal activities, we might be able to spot problems and treat them sooner, and this in turn could mean less time in hospital.”

Keywords: Wearable Electronic Devices; COPD; Tidal Volume; Quality of Life

  1. Mannée D, et al. PA2228, ERS 2019, 29.9.-2.10 Madrid, Spain.

Top image: @ iStockPhoto: sudok1

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