The properties of the electronics thereby become similar to those of textile, allowing unobtrusive integration. The design can be adapted for a variety of applications. For example, patient monitoring in hospitals, home care, elderly care but also for sports.
The new demonstrator is the third generation of vital sign monitoring shirt created with Holst Centre’s smart clothing integration platform. It continuously measures the wearers’ electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration and motion using imec’s wireless ultra-low power multi-sensor data acquisition chip with efficient motion artefact reduction that can share the data via a wireless BTLE system to a smartphone. The developers say the shirt could help to get patients home from hospital sooner by enabling high-quality cardiac monitoring at home and could replace today’s cumbersome holter monitors. Moreover, the design of the shirt and its electronics can be easily tailored for best electrode contact to skin.
Unlike existing heart monitoring clothing, Holst Centre’s smart shirt uses compact and distinct dry electrodes rather than a chest band, making it more comfortable to wear. These electrodes are produced using screen-printable, electrically conductive inks from DuPont, which allows their shape to be optimized for maximum skin contact for strong signal resolution and monitoring performance. ]The shirt can operate for up to two days on a single battery charge because of the low-power sensor and radio electronics. The mechanical properties and encapsulation are engineered for reliability in the laundry process. With Holst Centre technology a washability of 25 cycles in domestic laundry can be achieved thereby complying with market requirements.
“As a designer, the technology platform from the Holst Centre ecosystem is great to work with. You are completely free to design any kind of garment and application you want to, and know that the designed electronics will be easily integrated as part of the normal manufacturing process,” said the shirt’s designer, Marina Toeters from by-wire.net.