According to The Ohio State University, over half of all patients who are treated for heart failure end up back in the hospital within six months, due to fluid buildup in their lungs. Israeli company Sensible Medical has set out to change that, however, with a wearable device known as the SensiVest. Ohio State is currently leading a national randomized clinical trial of the technology, within the US.
The vest gets hard-wired to a tablet and is worn by the patient, in their home, for just one 90-minute session per day.
Based on military technology that utilizes radar to look through walls, it emits radio waves that travel from the front of the vest, through the patient's chest, and into a receptor on the back. By analyzing the manner in which those waves are disrupted as they pass through the right-hand lung, it's possible to determine how much fluid is present.
Daily readings are uploaded to a secure cloud-based server, where the patient's doctor can access them from their office. In this way, they are able to see when problems are developing before the patient even has any symptoms, and can advise appropriate treatment such as changes in medication.
Although the current trial is still underway, an earlier study reportedly indicated that use of the vest resulted in an 87 percent reduction in hospital readmissions.