The goal of this project is the development of a mobile system for lung function diagnostics in emergency situations. Based on electrical impedance tomography (EIT), changes of electrical properties in the lung are measured using an easily applicable electrode belt. This allows for a three-dimensional imaging and functional analysis to assess ventilation status.
Emergency physicians can use this system to determine the need for mechanical ventilation, monitor regional changes of lung function, and detect potentially life-threatening complications like pneumothoraces. As clinically established procedures such as X-ray imaging and computer tomography are not available outside of the hospital, and existing EIT systems are designed exclusively for stationary use, this project opens up new perspectives for the mobile emergency use. Urgent decisions regarding mechanical ventilation and possible need for invasive interventions such as thorax drainage can be made quickly and reliably with the emergency EIT system. Hardware development is conducted in close cooperation with Fritz Stephan GmbH and HTWK Leipzig. Development of an innovative textile electrode belt is performed by Gesellschaft für Intelligente Textile Produkte (ITP GmbH). At the ICCAS institute, novel methods for three-dimensional image reconstruction and data analysis are being researched.