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Smart clothes to track your health
April 01, 2008 12:55 IST
Scientists in Europe are in the final stages of devising smart fabrics that can provide an assessment of the wearer's health.
Embedded within the fabric are numerous sensors, constantly monitoring your vital signs. If danger signs are detected, the garment is programmed to contact your doctor and send a text message telling you to take corrective measures, the ScienceDaily said.
Miniaturised biosensors in a textile patch can now analyse body fluids, even a tiny drop of sweat, and provide a much better assessment of someone's health, the report said. A cluster of EU research projects is supporting this burgeoning field of smart fabrics, interactive textiles and flexible wearable systems.
"One of the most obvious applications for smart fabrics is in the medical field," said Jean Luprano, a researcher at the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology, who coordinates the BIOTEX project.
Garments that can measure a wearer's body temperature or trace their heart activity are just entering the market, but the European project BIOTEX weaves new functions into smart textiles. According to the report, one of the main achievements of the project has been the development of a suite of prototype ionic biosensors, capable of measuring sodium, potassium and chloride in sweat samples.
In the first BIOTEX trials, the smart patches will be worn in clothes by people with obesity and diabetes, as well as athletes. Once the technology has been validated, the plan is to take on industrial backers to commercialise it.