3 October 2019

Researchers are developing a smart shirt that -together with a mobile app – can reliably measure breathing in healthy people while carrying out a range of everyday activities.

This means they can now test out the smart shirts with patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If successful, they hope this will allow doctors to monitor patients remotely for early signs that their condition is getting worse. The research was presented by Denise Mannée, a technical physician and PhD candidate at Radboudumc.


In a release she said: "COPD is a growing problem with around 64 million people suffering with the condition worldwide. When patients suffer an increase in their symptoms, such as coughing and breathlessness, they need to be monitored more closely.  Symptoms first occur during daily activities like climbing stairs and housework, but respiration is hard to monitor in such conditions. This is traditionally done in the clinic with equipment such as an exercise bike, facemask, and computer. The equipment is not very practical for measuring everyday activity.

The smart shirt, called the Hexoskin, senses when the wearer's chest expands and contracts and uses these measurements to gauge the volume of air inhaled and exhaled. It also records heart rate and movement. Mannée and her colleagues asked a group of 15 healthy volunteers to wear a smart shirt while doing everyday activities including lying down, sitting, standing, climbing stairs and vacuuming.

At the same time, the volunteers also wore the equipment traditionally used to measure breathing that includes a face mask and a bulky backpack. The volunteers repeated the tasks wearing both pieces of equipment, to generate a second set of data.

The researchers now plan to repeat tests on the smart shirts with COPD patients, but they believe the technology might also help in other respiratory conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis or after transplantation.

Abstract Denise Mannée et al - Tidal volumes during tasks of daily living measured with a smart shirt
See also: ‘Smart shirt’ can accurately measure breathing and could be used to monitor lung disease

Denise Mannée is member of theme Healthcare improvement science.

Related news items


Online intervention for women exposed to intimate partner violence

21 November 2019

Within the SAFE project from the department of Primary and Community Care an eHealth intervention has been developed for women exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV).

read more

Technology for Oncology II grant application funded

21 November 2019

The grant application called "aiREAD – Accurate and Intelligent Reading for EArlier breast cancer Detection” by project leader Ioannis Sechopoulos, has been selected for funding under the NWO TTW – KWF Kankerbestrijding – Top Sector LSH Partnership “Technology for Oncology II”.

read more

KNCV Golden Master Award call for nominations

20 November 2019

The Royal Netherlands Chemistry Society awards this prize each year to the best Master’s research project. The Master’s thesis must relate to research in the field of chemistry, life sciences, process technology or (bio-)molecular sciences. Deadline: 31-12-2019.

read more

Podosome nanoscale architecture redefined

20 November 2019

Koen van den Dries and Alessandra Cambi, theme Nanomedicine, revealed how the nanoscale architecture of podosomes enables dendritic cells to protrude and sense their extracellular environment. They have published their results in Nature Communications.

read more

270 times Homo Universalis in Nijmegen

20 November 2019

What does a scientist of the future look like? International young scientists addressed this important topic during the ENABLE conference, organized by young researchers for young researchers. They showed how the new generation of researchers wants to open up science to the public.

read more

More expertise needed for patients with prolonged Disorder of Consciousness

14 November 2019

Willemijn van Erp published in the Annals of Neurology that nearly 80% of people with Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome, formerly referred to as ‘vegetative state’, are not given a correct description of the diagnosis when they are discharged from the hospital.

read more