What feels better – 12 leads of an ECG machine attached to your body or a comfortable t-shirt performing the same function? That’s what a heart monitoring t-shirt is – a comfortable version of an ECG or electrocardiogram machine.
If you’ve worn a smartwatch before, you can probably figure out how this t-shirt works. Technology has made everything smart: from phones to watches and now even clothes. What can be better than inventing something that takes care of your health?
What Does a Heart Monitoring T-Shirt Do?
Your smart watch can detect the pulse from your wrist and depict your heart rate. This t-shirt will tell your heart rate by directly connecting to it. So, if you’re wearing a t-shirt, you as well as your doctor can get to know the following:
- The problems in your body leading to chest pain and thereafter
- Possibility of getting a heart attack or similar situation
- What happened during and post-black-out
- Your current level of stress and fatigue
- History and trend of your ECG
- Breathing rate and volume
- Your sleep positions
- of steps you’ve walked
- Calories you’ve burnt
There are multiple brands selling such garments. Different ones have different features and styles. So, you might not get everything I mentioned above in 1 t-shirt. It totally depends on the technology that the brand has used.
However, the main purpose is monitoring your heart. So, when your heart rate crosses 100, that’s when you’ll be warned to save yourself some danger.
How Does this ECG T-Shirt Work?
The structure may vary by brand, but the basic technology is more or less the same:
- The garment contains detectors integrated or attached to the fabric that can receive signals from your body.
- There’s a Bluetooth device attached to the garment which connects with smartphones as well as computers.
- The entire system works by a battery, which can be charged wirelessly.
- You need to install an app on your phone of the brand you’re wearing.
- When you turn on Bluetooth and connect both devices, you can monitor your heart rate and similar conditions.
- Anybody else having the same app can monitor your heart condition, provided you enable them to. They could be your family members or your doctor.
- In case your condition isn’t normal, the app alerts you as well as others connected to your device about your health.
Variants for ECG Clothing
So far, the following garments are available in the market:
- Sports t-shirt for men and women
- Vests for men and women
- Bras and sports bras for women
As I said, different brands have different structures for what they provide. The following technologies are available for making these garments:
- T-shirts are made of nylon threads interwoven with conductive fibers that can catch signals from your heart. These conductive threads are oven on the chest area of the garment.
- Some t-shirts are made of lightweight infrared fabrics with built-in nanoelectrodes. These electrodes collect signals and transfer the data to the Bluetooth device.
- Another simple technology embeds a microchip within the threads that transfers signals to ECG sensors attached below. The Bluetooth device is also inside the t-shirt.
The Future of Smart Shirts
ECG t-shirts have indeed made life easier for many. A ping on your screen alerts you if your mother’s heart condition is critical while you’re away. You share the data with the doctor and save time to prevent any further problems.
Likewise, scientists are also developing technology to detect other health conditions using smart garments. These include sensing oxygen levels in the body, hydration levels and heart rate of a pregnant woman’s fetus.
You could be diabetic, an athlete, a fitness freak or simply old. This heart monitoring t-shirt is a boon to you as it can save you from a heart attack. Won’t you pay any price for a t-shirt that is both comfortable and life-saving?