New wireless prototype to monitor comfort of patients in wheelchairs

6 Apr 2013

The WiSAR Lab at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) is tackling a new wireless project to monitor patients in wheelchairs who may be susceptible to pressure sores.

The system is equipped with a real-time reporting tool and will alert carers when patients need to have their body position moved, and therefore help to prevent the formation of the sores.

The team at WiSAR Lab is developing this wireless monitoring system for use in care homes and hospitals.

The project is the result of a collaboration between Sligo-based company LC Seating Ltd and LYIT.  

“It’s been a very good experience,” said Luke Conway, managing director, LC Seating. “We hope to investigate developing a number of wireless prototypes with WiSAR over 12 months. These can then be tested in occupational therapy departments.  

At the moment, monitoring systems for wheelchair users are expensive, Conway added.

“Our aim is to develop wireless alert systems with WiSAR, which will be much more affordable than what’s out there at the minute.

“Embarking on this new venture is exciting and we’re pleased to be funded by Enterprise Ireland – it’s a strong vote of confidence,” Conway added.

Sufian Al Aswad, WiSAR Lab Centre manager, said the project demonstrates a successful transfer of technology from the research environment back into the industry.

LYIT team

(From left) John Andy Bonar, head of development, LYIT; Dr Jim Morrison, head of the Department of Engineering, LYIT; Dr Nick Timmons, principal investigator, WiSAR Lab; Luke Conway, managing director, LC Seating; and Sufian Al Aswad, WiSAR Lab Centre manager

Wheelchair image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic