Wristband for personalized dementia therapy

29.10.2018

In Germany alone, almost 1.6 million patients suffer from dementia – and the number of new diagnoses is on the increase. The health and care parameters indispensable to professional treatment are often not measured quickly enough – or in a sufficiently structured manner. That is why Fraunhofer IZM is working with partners from industry and research on a wristband that automatically measures and processes this data.

© MEV Verlag

The measurement and advisory system for dementia treatment being developed by Fraunhofer IZM increases the quality of life of patients and their friends and families.

© Fraunhofer IZM / Volker Mai

Sample view of a shape-adapted electronic layout in the wristband.

The miniaturized modular measurement and advisory system will have completed development by March 2019 as part of the PYRAMID project and is intended to improve the quality of life of those suffering from dementia and their friends and relatives.

Keeping an eye on all the data

The system measures vital signs, such as heart rate and body temperature, as well as skin resistance and external factors such as room temperature, brightness, and ambient volume level. In addition, the analysis also includes patients’ movement patterns and metadata. This data can be used to independently detect emergency situations – such as if a patient falls – but also to determine suitable treatment options on a day-to-day basis or make long-term forecasts about how the condition will progress. The information is provided to the medical professionals and care staff via Bluetooth. This means that patients can continue to live in familiar surroundings for as long as possible, friends and family are provided with relief, and treatment options can be optimized individually.

Complex system in the smallest possible space

In addition to the measuring and transmission electronics, a USB interface and NFC antenna, the latter of which allows doors to be opened automatically, are integrated into the battery-powered system. The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, together with the smE partner Binder GmbH, is responsible for the implementation of the hardware, the integration of measurement components, and the miniaturization for optimum usability. Concept and design studies have already been completed, and now a demonstrator is being developed. After the first successful trials with test subjects and prototype demonstrators, additional trials are planned by the end of this year.

About the project:

In addition to Fraunhofer IZM, the following project partners are also involved in the PYRAMID project: • ClinPath GmbH (coordinator) • Charité University Hospital Berlin • Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg • Johner Institut GmbH • Pilotfish GmbH • Binder GmbH. The project is being funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).