Three projects of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) will receive funding from “La Marató de TV3” to investigate different aspects of COVID-19. Thanks to the contributions received, the experts will deepen their understanding of the disease and its possible therapeutic solutions, study improvements in patient care processes, develop a system to predict the evolution of the respiratory system, and advance in the treatment of patients with pneumonia derived from COVID19.
Raimon Jané, President of the Spanish Society of Biomedical Engineering (SEIB), Group Leader of the Bioengineering Institute of Catalonia (IBEC) and CIBER-BBN, inaugurated the conference with the Health Minister of the Government of Cantabria, the Dean of the University of Cantabria, the Director of the Hospital and the President of the CASEIB2019 Organising Committee.
The Biomedical signal processing and interpretation group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) has developed a portable, cheap and non-invasive system to detect obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at home, a disorder characterized by recurrent airflow cessation during sleep. Researchers propose a novel method consisting of analyzing acoustic signals recorded with a smartphone.
Sleeping, like breathing, is an action that we all undertake throughout our whole lives. Sleep, which represents more than 25% of our time, is the body’s natural state of rest and an important factor of self-regulation. However, several diseases can affect sleep quality, leading to symptoms of varying severity.
IBEC’s Biomedical Signal Processing and Interpretation (BIOSPIN) group have published a paper with King’s College London that offers new techniques to monitor COPD patients by non-invasive methods.
COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – is a progressive lung condition with no cure in which the patient’s airways become narrowed. Together with other mechanical abnormalities, airways obstruction increases the load on the respiratory muscles. This, in combination with respiratory muscle weakness in COPD patients, increases load-capacity imbalance and contributes to breathlessness. The IBEC group’s paper elucidates a new way of assessing inspiratory muscle function using mechanomyography, a non-invasive measure of muscle vibration associated with muscle contraction, jointly with surface electromyography.
Some research published in PLOS ONE represents a new step towards translating IBEC’s basic research – specifically the novel signal processing and interpretation algorithms developed by Raimon Jané’s group – to clinical applications in hospitals.
The group collaborated with the Hospital del Mar-IMIM in Barcelona to tackle the current lack of instruments for assessing respiratory muscle activation during the breathing cycle in clinical conditions.