Ready to test a 'SmartShirt'?

Sensatex Inc. is looking for beta testers for its SmartShirt system. These fully washable shirts are using nanotechnology to weave a conductive fiber grid into the cotton fabric to monitor your movements or your heart rate and transmitted wirelessly to a central computer. The company also wants to test a SmartBra!

In a very brief article, Health Data Management reports that Sensatex Inc. is looking for beta testers for its SmartShirt system. These fully washable shirts are using nanotechnology to weave a conductive fiber grid into the cotton fabric to monitor your movements or your heart rate and transmitted wirelessly to a central computer. If the tests are successful, these shirts could be used to remotely check old people living alone, but also soldiers in the field or athletes. And the company also wants to test a SmartBra! But read more...

Let's start with a description of the fabric according to its manufacturer, Sensatex.

The Sensatex fabric was first developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Textile and Fiber Engineering under the auspices of the US military's 21st Century Land Warrior Program and the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the R&D arm of the US Department of Defense.

And below are two images showing the schematics of this SmartShirt system (Credit: Sensatex).

SmartShirt schematics

One of the primary targets for Sensatex is the use of such shirts by first responders.

The SmartShirt Systems goal is to significantly minimize casualties for first responders by providing knowledge of their health status to on-scene commanders in a number of emergency situations.

But the company is even more focused on health care for the elderly.

The healthcare system throughout the world is actively seeking new technologies to limit patient days in hospital, visits to the emergency room and to monitor homebound patients. The Health Monitoring System is designed to be adapted to various health related applications to meet these needs. The initial System consists of three lead EKG, heart rate monitor, and respiration monitor.
[Note: EKG, or ECG, is an abbreviation for electrocardiogram.]

Sensatex also wants to help athletes during training.

The SmartShirt can be used for competitive athletes hoping to maximize their training and performance. The Athletic SmartShirt System allows the comfortable measuring and/or monitoring of individual biometric data, such as heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, caloric burn, and provides readouts via a wristwatch, PDA/smart phone, or voice. Biometric information is wirelessly transmitted to a personal computer and ultimately, the Internet.

And below you can see how this could be done (Credit: Sensatex).

SmartShirt for athletes

In a recent press release, Sensatex adds it is also testing other products, such as a SmartBra, but doesn't disclose many details.

Sensatex is also testing a one-lead EKG band and a SmartBra that would employ the same system to remotely monitor vital signs and plans to add other sensor capabilities in the future.

Now, if you want to be a beta tester, please contact the company (link under the "Press Room" tab).

Sources: Health Data Management, May 5, 2006; and Sensatex web site

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