A team of researchers at la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed a GPS-enable patient biomonitoring garment which provides the researchers with a platform to register the physiological parameters of a patient in a non-invasive process.
The intelligent t- shirt developed by the scientists is capable of monitoring the human body, determining the patient’s location as well as determine if the patient is running, walking, seated or lying down. All the data gathered by the t-shirt is sent to an information management system through e-textile technology. Designed for use in hospitals and care centers, the information management system is available as a fixed infrastructure as well as in mobile units. The mobile units comprise of a localization device that can fit into the pocket and the intelligent t-shirt. The washable t-shirt contains electrodes using which electrocardiograms can be performed. A removable device in the t-shirt includes an accelerometer and a thermometer to determine the relative position, physical activity and the temperature of the patient.
Developed as part of a project funded by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, Plan Avanza and other R&D centers, the prototype of the t-shirt with wireless communication software and infrastructure to support the biomonitoring unit was developed by researchers at UC3M.
The initial testing and validation of the technology was carried out in Madrid’s La Paz Hospital - Cardiology Unit where five patients were being simultaneously monitored. After modifications are carried out, the prototype can be helpful in diagnosing cardiac anomalies among athletes used in telemedicine or to monitor patients within their homes. The use of the monitoring device can substantially reduce the patient’s time in the hospital. The device has a series of alarms which are activated when preset parameters are exceeded, for instance, when the body temperature rises above 38º C or when the heart beats more than 100 times per minute. The alarm system instantly alarms the doctor or hospital personnel.