Smart Pants manage pressure sores

smart pantsDespite what your teacher told you in school, fidgeting at your desk is not a bad thing.
The body’s need to fidget is the principle behind the development of a new medical device called “smart underwear”.
Designed for people with spinal injuries who are confined to wheelchairs, the high tech garment stimulates muscle movement to prevent debilitating pressure ulcers.
Dr. Martin Fergurson-Pell belongs to a team of researchers working on the project at the University of Alberta.  As he explains it, “What the underwear will contain is principally stimulating electrodes to get the muscles to contract, and then secondarily will be sensors which will look at the status of the tissues and inform the stimulator when it needs to be active. So, as we find that the period of time that the oxygen has been depleted from the tissue becomes too long through measurements made with sensors in the underwear, then the underwear will create an electrical stimulation to the muscles, wich then allows those tissues to be re-nourished.”
Dr. Ferguson-Pell is a professor and dean of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. He says smart underwear is just one invention under development by the Smart Neural Prostheses Team which is supported by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

Cheryl Croucher

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