“Magic Carpet” Could Predict and Detect Falls

“Magic Carpet” Could Predict and Detect Falls

It might not take you on a romantic ride around the world, but this high-tech rug developed at the University of Manchester could help rehab, elderly, and other fall-prone patients. The carpet consists of special plastic optical fibers and sensors throughout that map 2D images of a patient’s footprints by using light propagating under the surface, somewhat similar to tomographic techniques used by medical scanners. These images can be analyzed and used to detect patterns and changes in a patient’s walking habits and predict whether he or she is at an increased risk of falling. Naturally, the carpet can detect if a fall has actually occurred as well.

The smart carpet has other applications beyond use for fall-prone patients. Physical therapists can use the carpet to map changes and improvements in a person’s gait. Moreover, the imaging technology can be easily modified to gather other information about a patient’s condition (weight changes, for instance, might indicate a pending CHF exacerbation). According to team lead Dr Patricia Scully, these sensors make the carpet a very versatile device for monitoring a patient.

Source : It might not take you on a romantic ride around the world, but this high-tech rug developed at the University of Manchester could help rehab, elderly, and other fall-prone patients. The carpet consists of special plastic optical fibers and sensors throughout that map 2D images of a patient’s footprints by using light propagating under the surface, somewhat similar to tomographic techniques used by medical scanners. These images can be analyzed and used to detect patterns and changes in a patient’s walking habits and predict whether he or she is at an increased risk of falling. Naturally, the carpet can detect if a fall has actually occurred as well.

The smart carpet has other applications beyond use for fall-prone patients. Physical therapists can use the carpet to map changes and improvements in a person’s gait. Moreover, the imaging technology can be easily modified to gather other information about a patient’s condition (weight changes, for instance, might indicate a pending CHF exacerbation). According to team lead Dr Patricia Scully, these sensors make the carpet a very versatile device for monitoring a patient.

Source : http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=8648

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