A “biomedical” underwear has been designed by Philips to monitor the heartbeat of the wearer and warn emergency services in case of suspicious changes in heart rhythm.
The device can fit into a dedicated pocket with integrated dry electrodes in any clothing normally worn in contact with the torso. And the answer to everyone’s question is “Yes, it can be put through the washing machine and ironed.”
When the system detects the early stage of a serious condition it alerts the wearer and make recommendations to take appropriate action.
In an emergency or if the wearer loses consciousness (detected by a built-in motion sensor), the device alerts bystanders and sends information about the patient’s location to an emergency service.
It communicates wirelessly, via a base station in the home connected to the public switched telephone system or using a GPS-equipped mobile phone.
The system has still to be tested on a larger number of people, and be approved in Europe.
The researchers expected other measurements, such as blood pressure could also be taken by the clothing.
Couldn’t help thinking about the Georgia Tech Wearable Motherboard, developed by Sensatex, which uses optical fibers to detect bullet wounds, and sensors and interconnects to monitor the body vital signs. The built-in flexible data bus transmits the data to monitoring devices such as an EKG Machine, a temperature recorder, a voice recorder, etc. The bus can also transmit information to the sensors from external sources.
This Smart Shirt could be applied in telemedicine, monitoring of patients in post-operative recovery, the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), and monitoring of astronauts, athletes, law enforcement personnel and combat soldiers.