While most patients have to use intrusive wires to monitor their vital signs, a research team in the Carlos III University in Spain is developing a shirt that provides both comfort and biometric information using wireless technology.
Researchers at the Carlos III University in Madrid are developing a concept wireless system in the form of a tank top that functions like a Holter Monitor, a device for measuring electrical activity in the nervous system.
Unlike the bulky and intrusive Holter Monitor and other traditional biometric equipment used in hospitals, the ‘smart shirt’ is comfortable, costs significantly less, and is equipped with a wider variety of devices, such as a series of electrodes that measure and record bioelectrical activity, a removable thermometer and accelerometer that measures temperature and movement, and a separate positioning device that allows doctors and nurses to keep track of locations of their patients.
According to José Ignacio Moreno, member of the university’s Department of Telematic Engineering, the project’s main goal was to create something ‘barely there’ that patients can wear.
The main problem with the old equipment is it is quite intrusive. It needs to be carried, and the mobility of the persons is limited by the cables. With the t-shirt, you just put it on, and move easily. Our aim was to build something based on wireless technology that would be able to send information from a person to a central point.
Moreno adds that the team will add more sensors to improve the data and that the first units of the concept shirt will be in full use within a time frame of six months.