SWAN-iCare project

Swan-iCare is an ambitious FP7 European-funded project with an overall goal to develop a system infrastructure for the management of chronic wounds, mainly diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) and venous leg ulcers (VLU). The Swan-iCare system aims at developing an integrated autonomous solution for monitoring and personalized therapy of foot and leg ulcers while providing an objective continuous evaluation of the wound condition. Swan-iCare system incorporates a set of integrated multi- sensors on the wound and across the Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz8ppbbc6aw) tubing to measure wound temperature, pH and Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) existence. Based on the sensor readings, the system is controlled to meet the individual patients’ needs and provide an easy to use platform for the doctor to monitor the evolution of each patient’s wound.

Figure 1 shows the overall architecture of the SWAN-iCare System. The infrastructure is composed by a set of subsystems namely: (i) the Clinical Back-End integrated to the hospital infrastructure which includes the back-end server where the application and database run, and one or many front-ends, where the users can interact with the system, according to their assigned roles, (ii) the In-Wound Sensor Device responsible for gathering data from wound related sensors (pH, Temperature, MMPs) and communicating them to component (iii) which is the Smart Negative Pressure Wearable Device that applies the negative pressure wound therapy, provides interfacing to the user and uploads sensor data to the Back-end server.

The Microprocessors and Digital Systems Lab is a critical partner of the Swan-iCare consortium as its task is to develop the embedded software components, including virtual prototyping, RTOS, user interface control and data storage of the Smart Negative Pressure Wearable Device (SNPWD). The main goal of SNPWD is to enable the application of negative pressure therapy on wounds that are hard to heel, in a safe way, with the additional feature of the connectivity, which makes of the whole a system of unique characteristics. SNPWD is composed of the Smart Negative Pressure Device (SNPD), which is non-disposable and with a disposable part (Canister, Tubing, Dressing and Integrated Multi-Sensors). It controls the pressure of a pump used to extract the excess of exudate generated by the wound and collects it in a disposable canister. The device also integrates an activity sensor, two pressure sensors required for the correct control of the applied pressure on the wound and one sensor sampling the temperature of the motor of the device. The SNPD will be wirelessly connected to the Clinical Back-end through Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) over GPRS connection. The device is also equipped with a Bluetooth Low Energy communication module which is necessary for data exchange with the In-Wound sensor device. In total, the Smart Negative Pressure Device (SNPD) provides the complete functionality, integrating the sensors and drivers to control the pump, the data acquisition of the wound sensors, the user interface, the communication modules, the storage system and the power management to supply the entire SNPWD. A demo of the Swan-iCare system functionality can be found at https://youtu.be/UUcpbq3ecgQ.

Through extensive collaboration with research centers and companies in Italy and Switzerland, the Swan-Care consortium managed to deploy and verify a working prototype system which succeeded at acquiring the necessary safety compliance certifications and the approval of the Italian Ministry of Health in order to conduct a clinical validation study in the Dermatology department of the University of Pisa. The study included 15 patients of VLU and DFU and took place over 5 weeks. The study validated the functionality of Swan-iCare system and provided valuable clinical data regarding the application of medical sensors in the wound caring eco-system.

Figure 1: SWAN-iCare updated view of the overall ecosytem architecture

Figure 2: Swan-iCare system (front)

Figure 3: Swan-iCare system (side)

Figure 4: SNPWD and IWSD

Figure 5: Clinical validation site, Hospital of Pisa

For more information please contact at ECE NTUA: D.Soudris (Associate Professor), Email address: dsoudris@microlab.ntua.gr, Tel. +30 210 7724270