COPD patients experience shortness of breath and one of the causes is dynamic hyperinflation.This is a phenomenon in which the patient does not have enough time to exhale before the drive for the next inspiration starts. Especially during exercise, the end expiratory lung volume (EELV) increases and the inspiratory capacity decreases, in contrast to healthy persons. Together with MedWear, Relitech invented and developed a tool that can measure dynamic hyperinflation.
The tool is a bio-metric shirt using Respiratory Inductive Plethysmography (RIP) technology to measure breathing patterns in combination with algorithms to analyse these. Choosing proven components instead of reinventing the wheel, we started pragmatic and used an existing shirt from Hexoskin. The smart algorithms are implemented in a tablet application and calculate the degree of dynamic hyperinflation from the RIP measurements. On these algorithms, a patent is filed.
Currently the technology is validated by MedWear. Aim is to use this shirt in the clinic as a reliable and patient friendly diagnostic tool for dynamic hyperinflation. Subsequently, the shirt will be used for home-monitoring to observe (early) occurrence of dynamic hyperinflation during daily life activities. To reach this goal, we found the right partners to collaborate with: Hexoskin produces a shirt with high quality RIP technology for the sports market and developed a new patient friendly version for COPD patients, and Radboud university medical center and the University of Twente have a lot of expertise on COPD and lung function.