technology into fashion and clothing. The latest addition is the Vital Jacket by Biodevices, an intelligent wearable garment that continuously monitors electrocardiogram (ECG) wave and Heart Rate.
Such bio-monitoring clothing is allows freedom of movement for patients who need constant monitoring and data collection. Another market for such technology is high performance sports and fitness enthusiasts who want to flexibly log their vitals during workouts.
The Vital Jacket® is a wearable vital signs monitoring system that joins textiles with microelectronics. It was designed and developed to be a usable pragmatic approach for different clinical and normal life scenarios, in hospitals, home or on the move, that need continuous or frequent high quality vital signs monitoring from the patient or healthy subject. The concept was designed and specified based on the long tradition on biomedical instrumentation and telemedicine of the IEETA institute of the University of Aveiro, Portugal (www.ieeta.pt/sias). This R&D non-profitable organization further developed all the microelectronics, informatics and communications.
The original pre-product version of the Vital Jacket® is capable of acquiring, store and analyse (on-line or off-line) several physiological signals such as ECG and heart rate, respiration, oxygen saturation, body activity and posture and body temperature. Other sensors can easily be added to this wearable “motherboard”. These signals are all calibrated and relayed in real time for analysis to a PDA through wireless connectivity or stored in memory for posterior analysis. This system was particularly thought for the concept of a “House of the Future” that will include this type of on-line monitoring for elderly and patients that need special attention on their vital signs and is complemented with other electronic devices, such as digital scale with body fat sensing, pill electronic dispenser or a blood pressure monitor. All these devices are integrated on a wireless LAN that has a secure gateway over the internet to a monitoring station where physicians can receive alerts and biosignals that need inspection. The system has been evaluated in real use environment at the Hospital S. Sebastião, a 300 bed hospital in the Aveiro region.
This wide range concept is now being converted to several commercial products for different scenarios in clinical and sports applications after an agreement with Biodevices S.A. The first product is the heart wave monitor that uses this technology embedded in a T-Shirt to measure on-line ECG wave and heart rate on the move.
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