rd generation of vital sign monitoring shirt created with Holst Centre's smart clothing integration platform" /> The Holst Centre demonstrates a "smart" shirt for monitoring key vital signs
Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

The Holst Centre demonstrates a "smart" shirt for monitoring key vital signs

The new demonstrator is the 3rd generation of vital sign monitoring shirt created with Holst Centre's smart clothing integration platform

29 Mar 2017 | Editor

Researchers from the Holst Centre have developed a prototype smart shirt that integrates imec's validated medical-grade electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring with breathing rate and breathing depth.

There use of "state-of-the-art printed electronics technology" offers complete freedom in design and optimisation of printed sensors and electronics, being as thin as 60 µm and up to 100% stretchable. The properties of the electronics thereby become similar to those of textile, allowing unobtrusive integration.

The new demonstrator is the 3rd generation of vital sign monitoring shirt created with Holst Centre's smart clothing integration platform. It continuously measures the wearers' electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration and motion using imec’s wireless ultralow power multi-sensor data acquisition chip with efficient motion artefact reduction that can share the data via a wireless BTLE system to a smartphone.

Holst Centre - Vital signs shirt with detachable sensor module

Holst Centre - Vital signs shirt with detachable sensor module

Figure: Holst Centre - Vital signs shirt with detachable sensor module

The design of the shirt and its electronics can be easily tailored for best electrode contact to skin. This is important to further suppress motion artefacts which are depending for instance on the type of movements typical in different sports. Therefore, printed electronics allows maximising performance of both electronics and thereby the users for specific athletic and fitness applications

The design can be adapted for a variety of applications - e.g. patient monitoring in hospitals, home care, elderly care and is suitable for sports.

The developers say the shirt could help to get patients home from hospital sooner by enabling high-quality cardiac monitoring at home and could replace today’s cumbersome holter monitors. Unlike existing heart monitoring clothing, as the "smart" shirt uses compact and distinct dry electrodes rather than a chest band, making it more comfortable to wear.

  • These electrodes are produced using screen-printable, electrically conductive inks from DuPont, which allows their shape to be optimised for maximum skin contact for strong signal resolution and monitoring performance
  • The detachable sensor module is also much smaller and lighter (dimensions of 50 mm x 30 mm x 10 mm and 12 grams only) than previous generations, again making the shirt more comfortable to wear at all times
  • The shirt can operate for up to two days on a single battery charge because of the low-power sensor and radio electronics
  • The mechanical properties and encapsulation are engineered for reliability in the laundry process
  • Washability of 25 cycles in domestic laundry can be achieved and so complying with market requirements

The underlying technology has been proven - and matured - in numerous prototypes of the vital signs shirt and health patch demonstrators from Holst Centre and imec.

It is also fully compatible with standard garment manufacturing processes: the electrodes can be laminated to any garment as the final stage of production.

Holst Centre is looking for more partners to take the smart vital signs shirt to market and develop the technology for other applications.

Kerry Adams, printed electronics market segment manager, DuPont, said, "The new vital signs shirt demonstrator shows how printed electronics can truly improve lives, in this case by enabling continuous and precise monitoring of clinical-grade, biometric data from the comfort of one’s home." Kerry added, "We are proud to enable this kind of innovation with our stretchable electronic inks and look forward to our continued participation in Holst Centre’s printed electronics development program."
Marina Toeters from by-wire.net, said, "As a designer, the technology platform from the Holst Centre ecosystem is great to work with. You are completely free to design any kind of garment and application you want to, and know that the designed electronics will be easily integrated as part of the normal manufacturing process."
Holst Centre’s vital signs shirt with detachable sensor module

www.holstcentre.com    www.imec.be    www.advancedmaterials.dupont.com   

About imec

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. In 2015, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 415 million euro and of iMinds which is integrated in imec as of September 21, 2016 52 million euro.

Source: imec

About DuPont Electronics and Communications

DuPont Electronics & Communications is a leading innovator and high-volume supplier of electronic inks and pastes that offers a broad range of printed electronic materials commercially available today.

The growing portfolio of DuPont electronic inks is used in many applications, including forming conductive traces, capacitor and resistor elements, and dielectric and encapsulating layers that are compatible with many substrate surfaces including polymer, glass and ceramic.

Source: DuPont Electronics and Communications

About Holst Centre

Holst Centre is an independent R&D center that develops technologies for wireless autonomous sensor technologies and for flexible electronics, in an open innovation setting and in dedicated research trajectories. A key feature of Holst Centre is its partnership model with industry and academia based around shared roadmaps and programs. It is this kind of cross-fertilization that enables Holst Centre to tune its scientific strategy to industrial needs.

Holst Centre was set up in 2005 by imec (Flanders, Belgium) and TNO (The Netherlands) and is supported by local, regional and national governments.

Located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Holst Centre benefits from, and contributes to, the state-of-the-art on-site facilities. Holst Centre has over 200 employees from some 28 nations and a commitment from more than 50 industrial partners.

Source: Holst Centre

cintelliq logo