Aachen A thirst-sensor could remember the elderly in the future to the drink. If seniors do not take enough fluids, can be serious: cardiovascular problems, confusion, a higher fall risk. Aachen researchers have indicated designed with a sensor that can display the dehydrogenation of a man. “Four electrodes are glued to the body. Showing the water content in the muscle, “says Steffen Leonhardt from the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. Although the thirst sensor is not yet ready for production. But the project is to develop an example of the trend of the so-called Geronto technology, high-tech tools with sensors for geriatric medicine.
“The Geronto technology currently employed many university facilities, “observes Professor Ralf-Joachim Schulz of the Executive Board of the German Society for Geriatric Medicine. In essence, go to preserve the independence of older people. The geriatric put on an early rehabilitation with the use of tools, so Schulz, who is also chief physician of St. Mary’s Hospital in Cologne.
How to may use sensors into everyday objects so that they provide reliable medical information of a patient can be an example to show shoe. “This way you can see how far a person is mobile. What is his weight shift. Is he fall risk “? Schulz. There is also approaches that incorporate sensors in the clothes to get about ECG data without additional effort.
Only to control a heart patient would then no longer stay in the hospital. He could go home and take control of some heart or blood pressure would run automatically in everyday life. But still the future.
“Some centers will then be able to provide patients do not have to keep in the hospital,” says Schulz. This approach is also essential in the context of demographic development. Otherwise, is the medical “monitoring” sometime even more affordable. Good for the patient: The could live again in their own homes.
How far can you in the “Monitoring” go? The researchers at the Aachen Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering are working on an ECG sensor in bed and think ahead about at an alarm function with an accumulation of critical moments of the heart. Or a weight sensor in bed: This could, for example to see if anyone has not come back from the toilet a nursing manager. “You have to explore to what extent is such a thing possible. How far can you protect the privacy of the people. How far can I go? “Schulz describes the need for an accompanying ethical research.
The geriatrics expert Ursula Müller-Werdan emphasizes the usefulness of the” bed prudent “in clinical practice. A seriously ill person feel a wiring in bed, such as the ECG measurement, as an additional burden.
“If you depend on the cable, then that’s just not pleasant,” says the professor in Aachen head of the new Department of Geriatrics with a focus provides technical development in January. “Our aim is to make the hospital treatment of human,” she says. And that is not inconsistent with the high-tech medicine.