Smart Underwear

Reprinted from PN August 2012

A new type of underwear may help prevent pressure ulcers in people with stroke or spinal-cord injuries.

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A new type of underpants from researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton is showing promise to help prevent pressure ulcers in people with stroke or spinal-cord injuries.

Smart-e-pants pressure ulcer prevention underwear is an undergarment that delivers an electrical stimulation to areas most susceptible to pressure ulcers. The charge stimulates the muscles in these areas and simulates the “fidgeting” able-bodied people can do.

Created as part of the university’s SMART (Sensory Motor Rehabilitation Technology) project, the underpants send an electrical current for several seconds every few minutes.

The garment is now in limited clinical demonstrations at facilities in Edmonton and Calgary. None of the study participants in these demonstrations has developed a pressure ulcer. Further clinical trials are in the planning stages.

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