A Smarter Shirt for Hospital Stays

Spanish researchers have invented an “intelligent T-shirt” that can monitor a patient’s vital signs.
Could this mark the end of the backless hospital gown? (Photo: ecouterre.com)
Sep 26, 2011· 0 MIN READ
Originally from Baltimore, Oliver lives and writes on a quiet, tree-lined street in Brooklyn.

If you’ve ever spent much time in a hospital, then you know how much those backless hospital gowns leave to be desired (and exposed to the elements).

A new shirt, developed by researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, could hopefully change all that. Swapping out indignity for intelligence, the smart shirt has the ability to monitor everything from a patient’s sleeping patterns, temperature, heart rate, and GPS location.

According to Ecouterre:

All signals are sent wirelessly to an indoor information-management unit in the hospital that stores the data for future analysis. . . If a patient’s vital signs fall outside healthy parameters, the system sends the attending physician a text message.

Called LOBIN (or “Localización y Biomonitorización a través de Redes Inalámbricas en Entornos Hospitalarios”), the machine-washable shirt isn’t just useful for hospital patients. With electrodes that can measure and record bioelectric activity, it could track anomalous cardiac activity before it progresses into a full-blown attack, making it useful for athletes as well as older patients who are being treated at home.

And with its GPS locator, it’s a must-have for patients who have a tendency to wander during off-hours—not to mention jealous girlfriends everywhere.

Read the full story at Ecouterre here.