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WeCare: Cognitive-Multisensing Wearable Sweat Biomonitoring Technology for Real-Time Personalized Diagnosis and Preventive Health Care

Applicant Liu Shih-Chii
Number 177255
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Institut für Neuroinformatik Universität Zürich Irchel und ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Interdisciplinary
Start/End 01.06.2018 - 31.05.2022
Approved amount 2'209'555.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Interdisciplinary
Microelectronics. Optoelectronics
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences

Keywords (5)

personalized medicine; health care monitoring; biosensing technology; noninvasive sensors; conformable wearable sensors

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Biomarker im menschlichen Schweiß können nützliche Informationen über den physiologischen Zustand einer Person enthalten. Momentan werden diese Informationen für medizinische Diagnosen jedoch nur selten genutzt. Das Projekt „WeCare“ erforscht die Bedeutung von Biomarkern in Schweiß für die Gesundheitsüberwachung, Leistungsverbesserung und Verletzungsprävention während körperlicher Anstrengung. Dazu werden zeitliche Veränderungen von Biomarkern im Schweiß und deren Abhängigkeit vom physiologischen Zustand von Individuen untersucht. „WeCare“ bringt Experten aus verschiedenen Fachgebieten zusammen, die eine neue Generation von nicht-invasiven, tragbaren und echtzeitfähigen Biomonitoring Plattformen für Schweiß entwickeln. Die Plattform soll eine individuelle Auswertung unter verschiedenen Sport- und Trainingsbedingungen ermöglichen.
Lay summary

Das Ziel von „WeCare“ ist es, personalisierte Modelle von physiologischen Zuständen in der Sportpraxis zu erstellen, um maßgeschneiderte Behandlung- und Trainingspläne mithilfe der kognitiven Biomonitoring-Technologie zu entwickeln. Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, wird „WeCare” neuartige Schwerpunkte in Forschung und Technologieentwicklung setzen um individualisierte Gesundheitsplattformen ermöglichen, die biochemische Analysen von Schweiß durchführen.

Die tragbare Technologie, die innerhalb dieses Projekts entwickelt werden soll, wird den Stand der Technik in verschiedenen Disziplinen erweitern: (i) durch neuartige Herstellungsverfahren, die anpassbare, gedruckte Biosensoren zusammen mit passiver papier-basierter Mikrofluidtechnik zur Probenahme und Konditionierung von Metaboliten und anderen Molekülen kombinieren, (ii) durch neue Lösungen für die Echtzeitanalyse von Biomarkern mithilfe von modernsten, biologisch inspirierten „Deep Learning“-Modellen zur Sensorfusion und  Mustererkennung, und (iii) durch die Integration dieser Modelle in kompakte, energie-effiziente Prototypen. Darüber hinaus wird die nicht-invasive Plattform großen Nutzen für die personalisierte und präventive Medizin bieten, und auch eine kontinuierliche Beurteilung der Gesundheit eines Individuums in alltäglichen Umgebungen ermöglichen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 20.04.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
165993 Towards Smart Active Skins: Printing flexible TFTs on ultra-low-voltage Dielectric Elastomer Actuators 01.04.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
172553 HEAR-EAR 01.04.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

WeCare aims to develop a new generation of non-invasive wearable biomonitoring devices for personalized diagnosis and preventive health care. These devices will for the first time, provide continuous monitoring of individuals in natural physical conditioning environments and therefore allowing new and up-to-now not possible, studies of how the dynamically changing biomarker concentrations in sweat can be correlated with the physiological states of these individuals. Since one of the most demanding on-line biosensing applications is arguably sports physiology, WeCare will focus primarily on the continuous health assessment of athletes. To enable personalized health awareness in such dynamic and uncontrolled conditions, WeCare proposes a novel ultra-low-power and flexible-microfluidic neuromorphic cognitive architecture to combine the multiparametric measurements from a complete set of soft biosensors. The device will contain all components required to provide in-situ autonomous operation, extending the state of the art in each of the following employed technologies: (i) the fabrication of fully-conformable printed biosensors together with passive on-paper microfluidics for the sampling and conditioning of metabolites and small molecules; (ii) the development of the latest bioinspired deep neural network (DNN) models as statistical processors for adaptive on-line biomarker analysis by sensor fusion and pattern recognition; (iii) the integration of these models onto custom compact and low power implementations (iv) the yet unexplored event-driven readout of electrochemical and physical microsensors so as to optimize energy efficiency and to capture high temporal correlations in the data of multiple sensors.The main challenge of the project is to overcome hurdles on delivering autonomous continuous analysis of sweat samples under the complex biomarker matrix of this body fluid, even in continuously changing environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, interference effects, sensor drifts). Critically, the development of such novel multisensing technology will permit significant advances to the basic understanding of the dynamics and significance of the biological information carried in perspiration, and the development of inexpensive in-silico models for a truly personalized assessment of human performance, health and wellbeing in sports activities. Beyond this application, the innovations in WeCare will enable a new paradigm of seamless, non-obtrusive, user friendly and tailor-made medical assistance to allow physicians and patients to perform continuous health assessment; prevent medical complications in real time, and elaborate/follow personalized treatment plans, therefore enhancing the wellbeing of individuals in their natural environment, and improving quality, cost-efficiency and knowledge gains in healthcare services. To achieve these goals, WeCare will bring together the Institute of Neuroinformatics in Zurich, one of the foremost centers in the field of neuromorphic engineering and event-driven Deep Neural Networks, with EPFL-LMTS, leader in printed electronics in Switzerland, and the sports Medicine Center of the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), one of the most recognized Swiss Olympic Medical Center. The international partner, Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona, a reference European micro and nano-technology facility for the design, integration and characterization of biochemical smart systems, will provide the project with key knowledge on multisensor integration and fusion in fluids and on-paper microfluidics.
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