A Swiss professor of Community Psychiatric Nursing is working to use a T-shirt with electronics to see if it can help predict “explosiveness” in people with all kinds of stress problems.
The T-shirt could help the person's family members take steps to calm him down, said Dr. Jerome Favrod, Professor of Community Psychiatric Nursing, at the Health Campus of the University of Applied Sciences, Western Switzerland, and a clinical nurse specialist in Community Psychiatry Service, Lausanne University Hospital Centre, Switzerland.
He was speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of an international conference titled “Translational research: nurses making a difference” in Father Muller College of Nursing (FMCON) in Mangalore on Wednesday.
Dr. Favrod said the T-shirt would predict, in cases of persons with mental retardation or schizophrenia, if he or she would display destructive behaviour, yelling and physically hitting (“explosiveness”) through receptors in its fibre that take electrocardiograms (ECGs) of the person. He said he found, in some cases when a person showed signs of “explosiveness” could be made to relax if he “does the butterfly”, that was, if he crossed his hands across his chest and flapped the palms over the shoulders.
“I want to confirm through the T-shirt with receptors why this works.”
He is hoping to answer the question, “Why does the patient relax when he does the butterfly technique?”
“My role is to lead clinical research...the T-shirt is a tool for me,” said Dr. Fevrod, and added that he is “very interested in recovery processes of schizophrenia patients.”
At present, the data recorded by the T-shirt could be transferred from the T-shirt to another device through wires.
He is trying to see if data recorded by the T-shirt could be transferred from the T-shirt to another device using radio signals. He is keen that the software used would be free to download from the Net.
Dr. Favrod said it would be “great” if he could find somebody in India who would be interested in collaborating with him to develop the informatics for the T-shirt.
The T-shirt was mainly used in sports but can be used in the healthcare area with appropriate software.
It has been used by sportspersons in rugby in Italy to measure their level of stress by noting their ECGs.
It sold for 800 Euros a year ago and now costs 200 Euros. Some of the work he has done with the T-shirt is funded by the Public Health Department in Switzerland, he said.