[ETH Zürich] Zürich, Switzerland
A textile pressure sensor mat developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology measures pressure monitoring distribution on the human body via electrodes embroidered with conductive yarn on both sides of a compressible spacer. The simple design, use of standard materials and well-known production methods offer a low-cost means to assist healthcare providers in preventing pressure ulcers, particularly for people confined to a bed or a wheelchair, and who are unable to feel the discomfort or to react themselves. The mat takes pressure distribution measurements over time on endangered parts of the body, and an alarm alerts the patient or medical staff to take action. Textile pressure sensors are also a useful tool in monitoring muscle rehabilitation and in sports activities, and can be used for horse and bike saddles, in the insoles of shoes and in intelligent carpets to monitor movement.