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A Novel Approach to the Monitoring of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract

  • Author(s): Zegarski, Vincent William
  • Advisor(s): Kaiser, William J
  • et al.
Abstract

Suffered by one in four patients who undergo abdominal surgery, postoperative ileus is a condition where the gastrointestinal tract shuts down and bowel function is halted. With the onset of this condition, patients cannot tolerate any advancement in their diet, and should be restricted from any oral ingestion. However, patients are occasionally fed before it is determined that ileus is present, which can lead to a wide range of complications and further prolong the patient's hospital stay. With proper detection, a patient's dietary schedule can be modified to improve recovery, increasing overall patient comfort and safety. A novel system, AbStats, is presented that records the sounds emitted from the abdomen and autonomously detects those that are indicative of digestive activity. Initial investigations from clinical trials show that the rate of peristalsis events is a clear indicator of digestive health and can be used to identify patients who are experiencing postoperative ileus. Furthermore, an algorithm has been developed to detect these events while simultaneously rejecting noise that can lead to the misinterpretation of a recording. Overall, by providing extended recordings and advanced detection methods, the AbStats system will change how physicians monitor the human gastrointestinal tract today.

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