SwellFit: Developing A Wearable Sensor for Monitoring Peripheral Edema

AbstractPeripheral edema is a swelling of the legs, feet, or hands due to the accumulation of excessive fluid in the tissues. For patients with some chronic diseases, peripheral edema is a crucial indicator of onset or exacerbation of the condition. Thus, early detection of peripheral edema is important for timely diagnosis of associated diseases. However, existing techniques for edema assessment are a subjective measurement for which a human operator estimates the amount of swelling using a tape measure or by pressing the swollen area with the tip of an index finger. As a systematic approach to assessing peripheral edema, we develop SwellFit, an experimental prototype of a novel wearable technology that monitors peripheral edema by tracking changes in ankle curvature. Through a series of proof-of-concept experiments, we demonstrate that SwellFit detects ankle swelling even in the presence of substantial noise in the raw sensor readings.

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