Smart Textiles for Improved Quality of Life and Cognitive Assessment

Giles Oatley, Tanveer Choudhury, Paul Buckman
2021 Sensors  
Smart textiles can be used as innovative solutions to amuse, meaningfully engage, comfort, entertain, stimulate, and to overall improve the quality of life for people living in care homes with dementia or its precursor mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This concept paper presents a smart textile prototype to both entertain and monitor/assess the behavior of the relevant clients. The prototype includes physical computing components for music playing and simple interaction, but additionally games
more » ... nd data logging systems, to determine baselines of activity and interaction. Using microelectronics, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and capacitive touch sensors woven into a fabric, the study demonstrates the kinds of augmentations possible over the normal manipulation of the traditional non-smart activity apron by incorporating light and sound effects as feedback when patients interact with different regions of the textile. A data logging system will record the patient's behavioral patterns. This would include the location, frequency, and time of the patient's activities within the different textile areas. The textile will be placed across the laps of the resident, which they then play with, permitting the development of a behavioral profile through the gamification of cognitive tests. This concept paper outlines the development of a prototype sensor system and highlights the challenges related to its use in a care home setting. The research implements a wide range of functionality through a novel architecture involving loosely coupling and concentrating artifacts on the top layer and technology on the bottom layer. Components in a loosely coupled system can be replaced with alternative implementations that provide the same services, and so this gives the solution the best flexibility. The literature shows that existing architectures that are strongly coupled result in difficulties modeling different individuals without incurring significant costs.
doi:10.3390/s21238008 pmid:34884010 fatcat:ae6jvhhu75hk3lwp3x7pcxmofm