Long-term Wearable Electrodes to Detect Autonomic Dysreflexia

Approximately 45% of people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will develop the condition autonomic dysreflexia (AD). AD arises when signals from below the SCI are unable to transmit to the brain and vice versa, creating an increase in nervous system activity. This increased nerve activity causes an increase in peripheral blood pressure that if left untreated can lead to stroke, heart attack, or seizure. Common symptoms of AD include sweating above the SCI, a slow pulse, and cold, clammy skin below the SCI. Current AD monitoring devices are intended for short-term hospital and home use and lack the ability to simultaneously track symptoms. Our solution is a long-term wearable device that measures the galvanic skin response to monitor sweating, a temperature sensor to monitor body temperature, and a pulse oximeter to monitor pulse rate. To encourage usage of the device, the pulse oximeter and temperature device have been embedded into the insole for a shoe, and the galvanic skin response device is embedded into a ring. The development of this device will allow SCI patients to monitor their vital signs in a manner that would not inhibit their lifestyle.