Prof. Xiaoming Tao
Chair Professor of Textile Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Prof. Tao is Director of Research Institute of Intelligent Wearable Systems, and Chair Professor of Textile Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Prof. Tao is the former World President from 2007 to 2010, and an elected Fellow of the Textile Institute. She is elected Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineering and elected Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Textiles and Apparel. Prof. Tao is Editor-in-Chief for Handbook of Smart Textiles by Springer, and Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member of more than 10 key academic journals of the field. Prof. Tao is internationally known for her leading research work on intelligent fibrous materials, photonic fibres and fabrics, fibre-based electronic and photonic devices, and wearable technology. Prof. Tao has conducted numerous research projects and published more than 900 scientific publications including over 340 papers in leading international journals like Nature, Nature Electronics, and others, 7 research monographs and 72 patents. Her published work has been cited for more than 20,000 times with H-index of 74 (google scholar).
E-Textiles in Intelligent Wearable Systems for Health Applications
E-textiles are light, 3D deformable, comfortable and suitable for large-area applications of intelligent wearable systems, especially working as the human-system interface devices, flexible circuit boards or antenna or energy harvesters or storage etc. They can fulfil some useful and unique functions of the intelligent wearable systems and work with microelectronic or micro-mechano-electronic devices featuring high accuracy, reliability based on well established theory and design tools.
The paper presents our recent studies of intelligent wearable systems. The first study developed four new technologies for future supply-chains of medical compression garments, facilitating online digital communication among medical doctors, patients and manufacturers, and remote efficacy assessment of the products. They are: parameterization of 3D scanned lower limb profile data obtained from patients in clinics, CAD/CIM module with database of textile mechanical properties and structures, morphing bionic leg mannequins with in-built accurate pressure measurement networks and size adaptation, intelligent medical compression stockings equipped with new fabric pressure sensors and wireless communication. The customized medical pressure stockings fabricated at our laboratory are assessed in clinical trials at a partner hospital.
The second is an intelligent wearable system for enhancement of mobility of Parkinson Disease patients. The intelligent wearable system is equipped with a reliable and wearable foot plantar pressure sensing network, accurate detection model of abnormal gait with low computing power and wireless smart phone controlled multi-sensory cueing. Its real-time determination of onsets of freezing of gait (FoG), an abnormal walking pattern, with an accuracy of 93.5 % in clinical trials, and provision of visual, auditory or somatosensory cueing with a mean time delay less than 0.5 second. The system improves PD patients’ walking is confirmed by 81% of PD patients, and 70% patients overcame FoG in clinical trials.