Gonçalo Telo is one of the technical partners of the i-PROGNOSIS project working at PLUX – Wireless Biosignals S.A. He shares with us his perspective on the project.

What is your role in i-PROGNOSIS?

PLUX’s contributions were focused on developing a smartbelt – sensorial modules that enable EGG and bowel sound capturing. Additionally, PLUX supported the integration of the smartwatch used in the SData study and was responsible for the development of the web-app used for the intervention platform.

Could you tell us more about the smartbelt?

The smartbelt prototype was developed specifically for the i-PROGNOSIS project and it is composed of an acquisition hub, five sensors (four acoustic and one electrogastrograph) and an elastic band. The main goal of this device is to record the bowel sounds (using the acoustic sensors) and the electrical activity generated by the muscles’ contractions triggered by the stomach and intestines during digestion (using the electrogastropgraph sensor).

The system was designed to be placed around the user’s abdomen in an easy and comfortable way. The positioning of each sensor in the belt can be easily changed due to the use of a velcro layer in the elastic band.

How will research findings from the use of the smartbelt contribute to early Parkinson’s detection?

There are several studies that share the idea that the earliest stages of Parkinson’s disease may occur in the gastrointestinal tract. The main goal of the Smartbelt is to easily identify the changes that occur in the gastrointestinal tract and use the extracted information as one more element to add to the several variables that can be used for the early detection of Parkinson’s.