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Open AccessArticle

Wheelchair Pressure Ulcer Prevention Using FBG Based Sensing Devices

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Department of Physics & I3N, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Instituto de Telecomunicações, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
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PLUX—Wireless Biosignals, S.A, Avenida 5 de Outubro n. 70, 1050-059 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(1), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20010212
Received: 19 November 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 30 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue FBG Based Sensors)
In this work, a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) based sensing system for wheelchair pressure ulcer prevention was developed. Six FBGs were strategically positioned in a wheelchair to monitor the more prominent bone areas, namely scapulas (right (SR) and left (SL)), ischiatic zone (right (IR) and left (IL)), and heels (right (HR) and left (HL)). The sensing architecture was tested by a female user during pressure relief exercises, to verify its effectiveness on pressure monitoring. The proposed system proves to be a compact and reliable solution for wheelchair pressure ulcer prevention, making it a suitable alternative to existing conventional electronic sensors, with the advantage of being immune to electromagnetic interferences and usable in humid environments. In addition to the pressure, the breathing rate was also monitored. By combining the proposed sensing architecture with a wheelchair user detection software, it is possible to create alerts for the user to know when a new position should be adopted, in order to relieve the pressure in a specific area, thus avoiding one of the biggest problems for such patients, pressure ulcers. View Full-Text
Keywords: fiber Bragg grating; pressure ulcers; wheelchair; pressure sensors; breathing rate fiber Bragg grating; pressure ulcers; wheelchair; pressure sensors; breathing rate
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tavares, C.; Domingues, M.F.; Paixão, T.; Alberto, N.; Silva, H.; Antunes, P. Wheelchair Pressure Ulcer Prevention Using FBG Based Sensing Devices. Sensors 2020, 20, 212.

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