The 42-month project WELMO aimed at developing and validating a new generation of low-cost and low-power miniaturized sensors, integrated in a comfortable vest, enabling the effective and accurate monitoring of the lungs, through the simultaneous collection of sound and electrical impedance tomography (EIT) signals with the same sensors that can be combined, processed and linked with specific clinical outcomes making the systematic, accurate and real-time evaluation of respiratory conditions possible.
During the project, Artec Design contributed to the development of WELMO electronics through schematic design and PCB layout design, firmware development for a Cortex-M uC, industrial design, communications API development for Android as well as the production of the electronics. The resulting WELMO vest with integrated electronics is shown below.
WELMO vest with integrated electronics. Photos courtesy of CSEM SA.
Lung related diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia and asthma are considered the main causes of death in EU. The current management of such diseases only allows a momentary patient assessment at the time point out-clinic visit or hospitalization. Short-term trends in disease development, either deterioration or improvement, are not accessible. Continuous and real-time monitoring, especially in remote settings (e.g patients’ homes) is not available. Additionally the devices used for monitoring the patients are massive, expensive, uncomfortable and difficult to operate, thus requiring specialized personnel. Several of them also rely on patients’ cooperation and compliance to guarantee proper examination results. The incorporation of novel electronics in garments presents great potential for addressing these challenges.
WELMO runs from January 2019 to June 2022
Project Full Name: WELMO – Wearable Electronics for Effective Lung Monitoring
Consortium: Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), ELSYS, University of Coimbra, University of Kiel, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Smartex, Wellics
Call Identifier: H2020-ICT-2018-2
Funding: € 3,999,675
Duration: 42 Months