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Indian's wearable system bags 2nd place in global challenge

Posted: 12 Aug 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:health monitor  sudden impact  element14  GSM 

Element14's Sudden Impact global design challenge recently concluded, throwing up a couple of winners. Of the 12 participants competing to develop wearable health solutions that can detect and prevent sports-related injuries, Cosmin Iorga of the United States bagged the first prize and our own Ravi Butani was the runner-up.

The participants received a kit of components from Analog Devices, a Tektronix oscilloscope, advanced polymers from Electrolube and about Rs.32,150 (~$506) budget from element14 for additional parts and purchases. Each completed solution was tested by researchers at the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University.

"Impact injuries have led to detrimental consequences for athletes all over the world and advancements in wearable systems and sensors are enabling engineers to develop creative solutions to this problem," said Professor Reinhold Behringer of Leeds Beckett University. Behringer and his team judged each project in categories that included: ambition and sophistication, setup and installation, usability, measurements and cost effectiveness.

Iorga's design features a main helmet unit that measures head impact, body temperature, tilt, global positioning and even brain activity. A separate ECG chest module measures heart rate and both units provide data and alerts to an Android smartphone app (learn more about it over at EDN Asia).

Close competition

Interestingly, both Iorga and Butani received the same overall score of 76.5% with Iorga getting maximum score (100%) for cost and Butani scoring particularly high (91.5%) for measurements.

While I have asked Element14 to tell us how they broke the tie, the main differences I noticed between the two designs were Iorga's measurement of several additional parameters including, O2 saturation, respiratory rate and brain wave (EEG). On the other hand, Butani's design allows monitoring of up to 11 players (in a team sport). I'll leave you to weigh in with your opinion in the comments area here.

Butani's "real time player monitoring system" is an open-source project for measuring and notifying vital body parameters using Wi-Fi. In this design, the heart rate, body temperature and chest impact are sensed by a chest strap module and head impact is sensed by a helmet module. Butani's design can be used on an entire team of players—the multiplayer capability allows a coach to monitor the players in a team for chest and head impact and other health parameters. The design entry included a multiplayer simulator to enable testing.

Butani's wearable

Figure 1: Butani's multiplayer real-time player monitoring system. Marked above are (1) the chest strap module (CSM) with micro SD Card, (2) USB cable chest to charge the CSM, (3) the helmet module (HM), (4) USB cable to charge the HM, (5) a multiplayer simulator, (6) USB cable for the simulator, and (7) the CD with necessary software and user manual.

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