Vital Jacket Will Monitor Your Health

The Chilean based Company BioDevices recently unveiled Vital Jacket – a wearable vital-signs monitoring system. Vital Jacket uses microelectronics embedded into a T-shirt that will continuously monitor heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) waves of the wearer. The Vital Jacket was designed as a functional approach for individuals that need continuous or frequent monitoring of cardiac health and functioning, with fitness, high performance sports, security, and medical applications.
Traditional heart monitoring systems are bulky, inconvenient, and not always practical for everyday use. The Vital Jacket combines textiles with innovative medical diagnostic technology. The benefit of bio-monitoring clothing includes more freedom of movement, independence from stationary treatment for patients who need special care, and quality data collection in high performance sports as well as for fitness enthusiasts.

Vital Jacket is currently available in two versions: HWM100 stores data on a SD memory card for viewing and analysis on a computer and allows for long term monitoring. Users can input heart rate limits and be alerted through a vibration alarm embedded in the T-Shirt when the set limits are exceeded. The second version, HWM200, allows signals to be sent directly to a PDA or cell phone. BioDevices plans further refinement to the wearable heart monitor so that medical professionals can receive live data about their patients’ health 24 hours a day using a wireless LAN.

The Vital Jacket is the first product in the vast concept development line of bio-medical products with different clinical or sport related applications. BioDevices’ website reports that the original pre-product of Vital Jacket is a system capable of acquiring, storing, and analyzing, both on and off-line, various physiological signs such as ECG, heart rate, breathing, oxygen saturation, activity, posture, and body temperature. Additionally, the garment could be combined with other equipment such as a digital scale, medical dispenser, or blood pressure scanner, with the Vital Jacket functioning as a motherboard. The data to be sent for analysis, in real time, through secure servers, to a PDA, would utilize wireless technology for subsequent analysis. Physicians would be able to access a monitoring station to receive alerts and bio-analysis.

The Vital Jacket system has been successfully tested with 300 patients in the hospital of San Sebastian in S.M. Feira, Aveiro, and the design appears to be functional for wear by fitness enthusiasts who are also concerned about fashion. While the Vital Jacket is not yet available for sale, it has been reported that it is in pre-order for €399 / $635.44.

TFOT has covered several stories in the past about bio-sensors integrated into clothing, including a Doctor in Your Pocket, and smart fabrics that monitor physiological signs. TFOT has also covered a story on Killer Kevlar, special fabrics that can kill a wide range of infectious agents, and potentially add a new level of protection against bio-threats.

For more information on the Vital Jacket you can visit BioDevices’ website.

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