Dress Sense Entries

Dress Sense was lucky to have produced 8 multi-disciplinary teams made up of engineers, medics, designers, school children and other professionals. The competition created a unique environment for cross-discipline dialogue and idea generation.

Here is a brief overview of the products developed by the Dress/Sense teams.

Team 1: TenSock – DVT Prevention

Tensock is a wearable product to prevent the occurrence of DVT. It has been designed and manufactured for use in hospital inpatients and other people at high risk, for example those travelling over long distances. The product works by measuring the user’s leg movement. If the user has not moved significantly within 20 minutes, a warning will be produced in the form of a discrete red LED at the top of the sock, followed later by an internal vibrating motor similar to that in a phone, reminding the user to move. After 30 minutes of immobility, an integrated Electrical Stimulation Device (ESD) is activated. The timings used are based on NICE DVT prevention guidelines for travelers. (NICE, 2013) The Tensock is a viable alternative for patients who are not suitable for TED stockings, for example those with peripheral artery disease.

Team 2: FootSense – Device for measuring balance

Team 2 have utilised the multi-disciplinary working opportunity of the dress-sense competition in order to develop a wearable device which aids early identification and hence prevention of diabetic foot complications. This is called the ‘Foot-Sense’ system and comprises of removable inserts for diabetic footwear that enable home based monitoring of temperature and colour from the dorsum (top surface) of the foot. Sensors placed within each shoe, periodically measure skin colour and temperature using non-contact sensors. Measurements are transmitted wirelessly to a custom Android app running on a low power Bluetooth enabled phone. If a foot exhibits an asymmetric trend in temperature or colour compared to the opposing foot, this may correspond to early indication of neuropathic or ischaemic ulceration and the user is prompted to inspect their feet and consider seeking further medical advice. Measurements are stored and displayed in the developed app and can be shared electronically with clinicians in order to aid the patient's care.


Team 3: ‘Yo’ – Support CBT treatment with wearable technology

The idea behind Yo is to make CBT more accessible to more people. We believe the Yo devices will promote user-awareness to break their negative thought cycles and behaviour patterns, resulting in a positive change of mood.

Yo products are for people who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate depression or anxiety disorders, to use independently or under the supervision of CBT specialists or general practitioners. Whilst we do not limit the user, we recognise that “Childhood and adolescent anxiety disorders are relatively common, occurring in between 5-18% of all children and adolescents.”[i] Therefore our products are designed to be playful and interactive, tailored towards this younger age group, who are generally open to technology and peer-support perhaps even in preference to talking to an older CBT specialist.

Team 3 created a booklet describing their idea.

Team 4: High! Lights – Mood recorder

Hi!Lights aims to keep up to date with the users mood and helping them to connect with their closest family and friends. Hi!Lights monitors social interaction and activity in order to determine the users mood. Integrating an accelerometer and GPS into the design allows the persons activity to be assessed. A microphone has been incorporated which does not detect actual sound but modified volume to analyse social interaction for example conversation. Hi!Lights also uses a light sensor to distinguish whether the user is indoors or outdoors.

All of this information is stored as volatile memory and then transferred via a Bluetooth adaptor to communicate to a computer application. The computer application gives an overall mood of the person using an LED scale. The application can be downloaded by the user, family and friends. The user can then choose which people are allowed to see their mood by settings on the user application. The user could also allow their GP access to their mood. The LED scale is blue and the brighter (more lights) that it is then the happier the person is. When the scale is dark (has the least LEDs on) the application prompts the family/friends (that have been approved by the user) to communicate with the user. However the members that the user has chosen can see the users mood at any time.

Team 5: Buckle up: navigation belt

We came up with the concept of a ‘Navigation belt’ to be used in partnership with a guide dog, not as a replacement. The main function of the belt is to direct users by means of vibrations. These are delivered by small vibration motors at 6 points around the belt circumference (figure 1b). Voice commands spoken to a smartphone would be used to input a desired destination and initiate navigation by the belt. The phone would use Bluetooth to communicate with the belt.

The two main benefits of the belt include allowing the user to be ‘handsfree’ and ‘earsfree’ when receiving directions. This permits them to continue using their cane or dog for object detection and not have to wear earphones. The latter is reported to be disorientating, uncomfortable and some people with sight loss feel less confident when ambient sounds are blocked out [2].

Team 6: Tre motion – Tremor sensor

We decided to address monitoring tremor in Parkinson's patients. The device is worn on the wrist and senses movement using an accelerometer. A patient should put on the device and wear it during the day and then charge the device at night. Our device is initially targeted at health professionals to use the data and they can insert the SD card into computers during appointments to look for tremor changes. However, we aim to have wireless monitoring of patients on a system in the future. Therefore, if tremor severity increased by for example 10%, a flag would arise for that patient and health professionals could review medication and advise patients on whether there is a need at that time to change medication doses to reduce symptoms. One purpose of this device is for worsening of symptoms to be minimised for patients by detecting changes sooner.  We aim to create a way for patients to view and interpret the data themselves relating to the data health professionals view and so, take a more active role in their own care by monitoring their tremor quantitatively. An aim exists in enabling patients to “participate in judgements and choices about their own care”.

Team 7:DiaBEATes – Diabetes monitoring

Studies have shown that adherence to oral hypoglycaemic drugs can be as low as 1 in 3. And that this can get significantly worse when the number of tablets the patient needs to take was increased. The results of non-adherence with their medication in diabetes is devastating long terms effect on the patient's health. To combat this problem the DiaBEATes band acts as a reminder for the patient to take their preventative medications vibrating when the user may forget. An advantage of the wearable design that it can easily provide an emergency storage for the pills, so by wearing the device it is possible to take the medication even though the patient might have forgot. Another advantage is that the band is also able to measure the heart rate and physical activity of the wearer. These measurements are used to suggest the amount of exercise done in a day. This data, as well as the data of compliance/ non-compliance to their medication, will be fed into the app and turned into an info-graphic so that the patient understands what they are doing well or could improve. Both these pieces of data feed into the point system of the app that will be discussed in the next section.

Team 8: Jurojin – wearable technology for people living with dementia

The aim of Jurojin was creating a simple wearable GPS based device for people living with dementia that would allow them to maintain their independence. Whilst a robust, reliable implantation of GPS technology would be essential, the needs of users are such that many of the trappings of a technologized solution would need to ‘disappear’; this is because people living with dementia can find it difficult to learn new skills and as a result of this, can also be wary of trying new things. The need for simplicity also needed to extend beyond the people living with dementia since the proposed freedoms afforded by the device should not be at the cost of carers having to deal with complexities hidden from the use

Winning Team

The winners of the competition were Team 3: with ‘Yo’ a support system to aid cognitive behaviour therapy. The winning team members were Annie Lywood, Antonis Vafeas, Egho Ireo, Michal Kozlowski, Themis Omirou, Kimberly Higgins and Olivia Tiley.



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