News | Wearable Sensors | October 24, 2016

Smart Clothing May Enable Cardiac Monitoring Without Electrodes

iSmartweaR, smart clothing, jIndustrial Technology Research Institute, ITRI, wearable heart monitoring

An example of an iSmartweaR shirt that can monitor patient vital signs without the need for electrode wires.

October 24, 2016 — Conventional smart clothing uses conductive fibers or rubber as sensing electrodes, and cardiac electrical sensing modules have required at least two or more electrodes to contact the skin for capturing the heart’s electrophysiological signals. However, a new start up company is now offering smart textiles without the need for electrodes. 

iSmartweaR smart clothing, jointly developed by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and ECLAT Textile Corp., transforms ordinary fabrics into smart wearables. It integrates nanosecond pulse near-field sensing technology (NPNS), with washable conductive fabrics allowing textile products to track vital signs without bodily contact. NPNS features miniature low-power radar utilizing Bluetooth transmission to connect with ICT systems. Its advantages are compact size, high sensitivity, high selectivity, high reliability, low price, low energy consumption, and penetrability.

ITRI’s smart clothing technology uses a single antenna radar sensing design that simultaneously detects human heartbeats, breathing rates and other activity levels all without causing any user discomfort, the manufacturer said. Utilizing low-power microwave technology, iSmartweaR does not have direct contact with the skin, so it does not cause direct pressure on the wearer’s body.

“iSmartweaR is significant and widely applicable,” said Hong-Dun Lin, manager of ITRI’s Center of Measurement Standards. “It can help prevent sudden death in infants by tracking their physiological parameters. It also analyzes a user’s average health data and can warn of abnormal fatigue levels. iSmartweaR can be used in individual sports training, long-term data analysis for senior citizen healthcare, and health monitoring for professionals such as police and firefighters. Therefore, not only is it practical for the general consumer but also for individuals in various professional fields.”

ITRI is a technology R&D institution focused on the fields of smart living, quality health and sustainable environment. It has incubated over 240 innovative companies

For more information: www.itri.org/eng

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