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Smart shirt tracks hearts on the run

Reuters | September 4, 2006

BARCELONA - A "smart" shirt, incorporating stainless steel threads, has been developed by European scientists to monitor heart patients on the move.

The shirt is capable of recording an electrocardiogram -- a test of electrical activity of the heart -- which is then transmitted over the mobile phone network to a central monitoring center, researchers told the World Congress of Cardiology on Monday.

It looks little different to a normal shirt but contains stainless steel wires twisted around viscose yarn, which means it works as an electrode.

Tests of the shirt, which is connected to a small transmitter, on 15 patients showed it was as reliable as electrocardiogram machines commonly used in hospitals, Professor Stefano Coli of Milan's San Raffaele Hospital told the meeting.

The idea is eventually to use the shirt for telemedicine, so that cardiac patients can be safely monitored at home rather than in hospital.

 

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