‘Smart’ fabrics –to monitor a patient’s respiration rate and body temperature in real time
Working with an organic semiconductor, electrical-engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have fabricated and tested two similar but slightly different biosensors that can measure important physiological signs. Integrated into “smart” fabrics – garments with wireless technology – the sensors will be able to monitor a patient’s respiration rate and body temperature in real time and thus provide point-of-care diagnostics to health-care professionals and greater freedom for patients.
The success of the research is promising for patients whose vital signs must be continuously monitored. Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering Varadan said the sensors and wireless networks can fit on garments such as undershirts. With this technology, the smart fabric can monitor vital signs and collect and send data to an information hub in real time. The information can provide immediate detection of physiological abnormalities, which will allow physicians to begin treatment or prevent illness before problems reach an acute stage.