A team of researches led by the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), in Barcelos, Portugal, conceived and developed the first wearable system that combines physical and fall detection in a simply and intuitive way.
The Bowear system vision is to lead a revolution on the activity of physical protection and fall detection of people that are at risk of falling such as the senior population, or performing activities such as outdoor sports, daily or professional activities.
Bowear was created by a team of designers and engineers in Portugal and supported by a partnership of entities from the national technical and scientific system, such as IPCA, where Bowear is headquartered, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, the Technological Centre for the Textile and Clothing Industry and the warpknit company Fernando Valente. The initial work was mainly funded by the Mobilizer Project PT21, co-financed by the European Community Fund FEDER through the portuguese Operational Program for Competitive Factors.
Bowear comprises four products:
- BoSuit is a microfiber platform composed by a pair of pants and a sweater (second skin type) that can be worn underneath the clothes, while being casual and sporty. In this platform, protection pads are impregnated in specific osteoarticular key areas with a high performance elastomer for absorbing impact energy during a fall.
- BoSensor is a fall detection device, non-invasive and easily attachable to the BoSuit sweater, which communicates with a smartphone via a simple and intuitive application (the latter being the third product). This application is the interface between the sensor and the user, allowing alerts of fall events bring sent to assigned caregivers, and indicating the respective geographic location of the event. It allows configuration of multiple contacts to alert in case of fall; SMS notice of the occurrence of a fall and the respective geographical location. In order to allow the sensor to be used without the need of the microfiber platform, a fourth product was developed, namely a unisex vest, not intrusive (second skin type) and easily adaptable to different anatomies, which enables the use of the BoSensor in an inconspicuous manner.
Being modular, BoSensor and BoSuit can be harmoniously coupled, by attaching the BoSensor to the BoSuit, and create a wearable system for physical protection and falls detection.
This solution allows creating a chronological record of fall events, information which can be used for statistical or medical purposes. All information extracted from the system as the user's profile and past events can be accessed by authorized users on a secure website.
BoSuit and BoSensor are expected to become available from selected retail partners and on Bowear website on April 2015.
For more information about Bowear system, please visit: www.bowearonline.com.
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