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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

DTC Seminar Series

Wireless Solution to Prevent Decubitus Ulcers: Preventive Weight Shifting Guide, Monitor, and Tracker App for Wheel Chair Users with Spinal Cord Injuries (Phase II)


Arshia Khan
University of Minnesota Duluth

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
4:00 p.m. reception
4:30 p.m. seminar

401/402 Walter Library


Wheelchair users with spinal cord injury have a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers due to limited mobility and the countless hours they spend in the wheelchair, exerting pressure on the points of interface between the bony structure and the wheelchair cushion. The areas of interface that are under prolonged pressure lack blood flow, causing the tissue to breakdown, leading to a decubitus or pressure ulcer. Approximately 28.9 % wheelchair users in communities, 27% in nursing homes, and between 5 and 30% of hospitalized patients develop pressure sores. Nearly 70% of elderly patients develop pressure ulcers, which in turn significantly increase the healthcare management and costs and can be a cause of pain, discomfort, loss of independence and mobility in not only the elderly but also the younger patients. Mobile technology can be employed to provide a technological solution to preventing pressure ulcers. An app was designed and developed to notify, walk through the process of weight shifting and also track the movements of the patient performing weight shifting using the accelerometer. The app was tested to find that the forward lean movements can be tracked accurately using the accelerometer but the lateral movements although tracked could not verify that the weight shifting was correctly performed. In order to fix this issue the pressure map is used as an additional sensor to track and monitor the weight shifting accurately.


Arshia Khan is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She has earned a bachelors in computer engineering, a masters in computer science and a Ph.D in information technology. She is passionate about improving the quality of health care by using new and innovative technologies. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and span biomedical informatics, clinical/health informatics, and consumer health informatics with a focus in biomedical health informatics (public, personal, and consumer). Her research involves creating technological solutions to enhance the quality of care by augmenting the health of the populace and individuals. Her research has evolved into sensor based personalized medicine, wireless mobile population health management, mobile clinical decision support, and mobile data analytic support and analysis. Currently she is working on several projects that involve wireless solutions utilizing sensors to track physiological changes such as heart rate, blood pressure, body surface temperature, oxygen saturation, and other sensors such as accelerometer, and pressure sensors to monitor and track various health conditions, prevention of pressure ulcers, engagement of autistic children, and early detection of suicide ideation.

Her research interests also include quality of care in rural hospitals, healthcare mobile app-development, innovative healthcare technology development to improve the quality of care, and wireless non intrusive device design and development for monitoring physiological sensors. She loves to teach, research and inculcate research interest among undergraduate students by encouraging and fostering a desire to pursue graduate school. She authored a book on mobile device programming — Objective-C and iOS Programming: A simplistic Approach. She is the recipient of the "Scholarly and Creative Activity Award 2014."

She is a also passionate about encouraging women in STEM fields and has secured several grants.