Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clothes That Monitor Health

health and cloth
A new scrap could one day watch a person's fitness using minuscule sweat model. The square is being urbanized by Biotex, a grouping of European explore institutes and companies, including the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).

Most clothing designed for health monitoring focuses on physiological measurements, such as body temperature and heart rate. This is one of the first attempts to continuously analyze biochemical signals using clothing. The team employed a novel approach for monitoring: a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic yarns woven together to channel the sweat to the sensors. By utilizing natural attraction and repulsion actions to move the sweat, the method also circumvents the need for additional power sources, which would add bulk to such a device and make it less convenient for everyday use.

Once the fabric has directed a few milliliters of sweat into the patch, the sensors determine the amount of potassium, chloride, or sodium present. Measuring these electrolytes can provide insight into a person's metabolism. By comparing the electrolyte amounts to reference measurements, such a system could indicate if the user is overexerting herself or stressed, says Jean Luprano, project coordinator at the CSEM.

Once the tiny reservoirs are full of sweat, the user throws away the chemical part of the patch, which is about 5 to 10 square inches. The patch-embedded band or shirt can be washed, and the monitoring electronics reused.

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