A prototype of the HET wristband. (Photo: NC State University)

Researchers have developed an integrated, wearable system that monitors a user’s environment, heart rate, and other physical attributes with the goal of predicting and preventing asthma attacks. The system, called the Health and Environmental Tracker (HET), is composed of a suite of new sensor devices incorporated into a wristband and a patch that adheres to the chest.

The patch includes sensors that track a patient’s movement, heart rate, respiratory rate, the amount of oxygen in the blood, skin impedance, and wheezing in the lungs. The wristband focuses largely on environmental factors, and includes additional sensors to monitor motion, heart rate, and the amount of oxygen in the blood. Data from the sensors is transmitted wirelessly to a computer, where custom software collects and records the data.