According to the European Commission, the theme of Health is one of the six major societal challenges for the future, since the aging of the population leads to the need to make adjustments to the supply of health and social systems. In addition, disease prevention is the basis for keeping European citizens healthy and active throughout their lives.
Pressure ulcers (PU) are one of the biggest problems in terms of clinical safety of patients, worldwide. This condition, due to its impact both on the socioeconomic level and on the person's quality of life, represents a serious health problem and its prevention is a challenge.
The coverage of target groups such as the elderly (reduced or null mobility), chronic patients and people with motor disabilities, further intensifies the prevalence and concern associated with the development of this clinical condition.
The 4NoPressure project aims to develop smart clothing to prevent the occurrence of pressure ulcers, focusing on two strategic aspects:
1. Diseases - the clothing will be designed for prevention and therapeutic function for the clinical condition of PU, for bedridden people and with reduced mobility and / or motor disability.
2. Aging and active life - the clothing developed will contribute to improving the quality of life and well-being of people who suffer from this condition.
The project aims to develop a new type of clothing for hospital application, and as such, guarantee the classification as a medical device.
To this end, the investigation of materials for the development of clothing is foreseen, in order to tend to the requirements of thermophysiological comfort; pressure relief and involvement.
The development of sensing approaches to be incorporated into clothing is also planned. The tasks will be dedicated to the research and development of two approaches that will be complementary: conductive fibers and a sensor platform. Critical knowledge for the development of sensors will be acquired, modeling techniques will be used and preliminary individual devices will be manufactured and tested to study them and the integration process.
The development and characterization of the technology responsible for the bioactive properties is foreseen: to develop the technology of photocatalytic nanomaterials to promote the antimicrobial effect on clothing.
The project also proposes new design concepts and geometries for the modeling of the structure of clothing, the objective being to combine functional requirements as clothing adapted for people with reduced mobility, with the design component.
The 4NoPressure project (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-039869) is promoted by IMPETUS in consortium with the University of Minho, INL and ESEnfC.