With the global population growth of elderly persons, there has been a tendency toward higher quality of life, along with continually increasing expectations and needs for enhanced health care for elderly persons. The purposes of this research were to develop the E-textile-based Smart Healthcare Glove System (SHGS) with Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) as a health care device for the elderly hypertensive, and to evaluate the effectiveness of SHGS for hypertensive treatment. The SHGS consists of an inner glove with sensor-embedded conductive textiles; an outer glove; a TENS for electrical stimulation; and an arm band for a ubiquitous health care wearable device. The SHGS with TENS is used for hypertension treatment and care by electrically stimulating meridian points on the palm. The health care performance test was carried out with a dozen elderly female patients (six Senior-old-ageing and six Old-ageing groups) suffering from hypertension, and was conducted to measure blood pressure and pulse rate before and after wearing the SHGS with TENS for 15 min. Significantly, this study found that the mean blood pressure of all 12 patients after wearing SHGS decreased from 142.58 ± 9.90/82.46 ± 4.45 mmHg to 119.83 ± 9.23/75.79 ± 4.90 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (p <.001) as well as diastolic blood pressure (p <.01) by paired t test. Also, the mean blood pressure of chronic hypertensive patients decreased significantly from 149.25 ± 9.45/82.75 ± 2.70 mmHg to 125.33 ± 9.78/76.67 ± 3.31 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (p <.001). In addition, there was a significant difference in blood pressure before and after wearing the SHGS by Wilcoxon signed rank test (p value: 0.0313, 0.0005). These results suggest that SHGS decreases blood pressure, improves irregular blood circulation, and can be an effective high-tech health care device for elderly hypertensive patients. Although this study used only elderly participants, the results of the study may be generalized to hypertensive patients at any age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering