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miércoles, 15 de agosto 2018
15/08/2018
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Vital-sign-reader vest: new GIBIC’s patent

By Leidy Johanna Avendaño and Carlos Arturo Betancur – Communications Office

The Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia granted the patent for the “wearable vital-sign-reader system with interconnection and two insufflating armbands for each arm,” developed by researchers Alher Mauricio Hernández Valdivieso and Fabián Andrés Castaño Úsuga, members of the Research Group on Bioinstrumentation and Clinic Engineering (abbreviated GIBIC in Spanish) of the Faculty of Engineering.

The equipment consists of a system that reads patients’ vital signs anywhere while they carry out daily activities. It is a vital sign monitor similar to those used in hospitals; the difference is that GIBIC’s system is a wearable vest, so patients may go freely around the house.

The vest records and collects vital sign data, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, to be analyzed later. When any variable differs from its reference value, the system sends an alert to the physician or the patients’ relatives.

The monitor vest, made with fabrics produced in Colombia, has an electronic system with cards and sensors distributed throughout patients’ thorax. Compared to a conventional vital sign monitor that weighs between four and eight pounds, this equipment weighs around one pound and a half and, since it is distributed all over the thorax, is comfortable to wear.

The first version of this system was released in 2009; since then, the researchers began a process of continuous improvement to adjust the original design to the needs identified by the group.

The announcement of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce encourages the GIBIC to work in the “adaptation of methodologies and tools of engineering for the progress of technology in the biological and medical disciplines,” says Professor Mauricio Hernández. “The patent they issue today is for a system that will help adults with health risk conditions,” he adds.

According to Hernández, coordinator of the GIBIC, the opinion of physicians and hospital administrators has been very positive because they see the potential of the new technology. “This system is widely accepted, because people trust more in the knowledge and tools that we improve and develop in Colombia. We are convinced that it will generate a positive transformation in the way patients are monitored,” states the researcher.

The patent was possible thanks to the support of the National Fund of Royalties, which financed the system’s development, and Ruta N that, through the Patentes N call and along with the Innovation Unit of Universidad de Antioquia, supported the process of registration of intellectual property.
Other developments and progress from this and other research groups will be presented during EXPOIngeniería 2018, event that will take place on October 16, 17, 18, and 19 at the Plaza Mayor Convention and Exhibition Center and the Medellín Metropolitan Theater in the city of Medellín.

 

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