Vital parameter measurement and biofeedback therapy – combined in one ear device.
Monitoring and improving health with an ear device – a consortium with seven partners from research and industry is currently working on making this possible in the future.
The consortium includes the Chair of Medical Information Technology at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen University Hospital, the Berlin Pain Center, CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH Erfurt, Binder Elektronik GmbH Sinsheim, G.punkt medical services Magdeburg and TSI-Telematic Solutions International GmbH Berlin. Their goal is to develop an ear device that integrates health monitoring and biofeedback functions in a miniaturized device.
The basis of the ear biofeedback system is the analysis of vital parameters measured at the ear. Sensors determine, for example, the optical density of the rhythmically perfused tissue. This allows conclusions to be drawn about local blood flow and the systems regulating blood flow. These include, above all, cardiac activity, respiration and thermoregulation, which in turn are under the influence of the autonomic nervous system.
Coupled to the data analysis is an individualized biofeedback function with which improvements in the physiological state can be achieved through semantic-acoustic feedback. The control loop is implemented radio-based via a smartphone app with a connection to a telemedicine center.
This “little man in the ear” has the potential to help people suffering from medically relevant stress to regain vitality and health. The consortium is convinced that the implementation of this concept will set a milestone on the road to personalized medicine.