Metafas: SentiSock allows early stress recognition in care for the disabled


The SentiSock, manufactured by Metafas (Asten, The Netherlands) on behalf of healthcare technology company Mentech, helps with early stress recognition in the disability and elderly care sector. This advanced sock is designed to detect stress early by measuring physiological parameters, such as skin conductance, heart rate and movement. In combination with artificial intelligence, the SentiSock provides caregivers with a valuable tool to better understand and manage otherwise unintelligible behaviour in patients.

The SentiSock offers numerous advantages over traditional methods, such as electronic patches or wristbands. The sock can be easily applied during the dressing process and is well accepted by this vulnerable group. Moreover, the sock is washable and reusable, making it an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to disposable electrodes.

Metafas' manufacturing expertise, in collaboration with Mentech's technological innovation, contributed to the SentiSock's success. “This collaboration illustrates how technology and care can come together to have a positive impact on the lives of both patients and caregivers,” said Luc van Neer, CEO of Metafas.

Mentech involved Metafas in the project at an early stage because of the company's expertise in the development and production of printed electronics. This led to a true co-development project, which resulted in a short lead time with a highly innovative character.

“In the development and production of the socks, the choice of material, a special thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), was crucial,” explains Van Neer. “This material provides optimal stretch and shrinkage, and it has good adhesion properties in combination with our inks. On the TPU layer, the functional layers are built up subsequently by screen printing with silver, carbon and dielectric inks. These are specially developed for good durability and crease resistance, and good adhesion to the TPU substrate. A clever meandering design of the sensor and the build-up of the aforementioned inks in several layers makes the sock robust enough for normal use. This prevents overstretching of the ink and therefore potentially reduced conductivity, thereby improving the lifetime of the sock.”

Caption: The screen printing layers and material stack in the SentiSock, combined with an algorithm, provide early stress recognition in the disability and elderly care (Photo: Mentech innovation)

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