Thursday, 22 Sep, 2011 Science

Latest Invention: Intelligent T-Shirt that Monitors Its Wearer's Health


Today there's a lot of talk about clothes made of smart fabrics that help monitor health conditions of wearers of these garments.

The latest product from this field is the "intelligent T-shirt," developed by a team of researchers at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).

The garment can collect information regarding its wearer's heart rate, body temperature, activity level, and even location. In addition, the T-shirt is easy washable.

It features electrodes that identify bioelectric power like the one produced by the heart beating. With the help of these electrodes it is possible to get an electrocardiogram.

Besides, the garment includes removable device that has a thermometer and accelerometer that are used to calculate the patient's body temperature, detect the current position of their body and location, and estimate the level of their physical activity.

The team plans to equip the T-short with another gadget that would receive signals from a network of transmitters mounted throughout the hospital. After collecting these signals the device would wirelessly transmit data about them to the main data management system. The latter applies an algorithm in order to detect the person's current location within the building, with the margin of error being 6.6 feet.

According to the researchers, their invention could be used outside hospitals as well. It may allow doctors to monitor the condition of patients while these are at home. The built-in alarms could alert doctors in case the patient's heart rate goes over a given limit or if their body temperature registers a considerable drop below the normal 37C (98.6F), reports UC3M.

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