Hospitals may soon have a new, noninvasive way to track the health and movements of their patients. Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed an “intelligent T-shirt” that not only monitors vital signs in real time, but also locates individuals on hospital grounds within a 2-yard margin of error. Dubbed LOBIN, or “Localización y Biomonitorización a través de Redes Inalámbricas en Entornos Hospitalarios,” the washable garment comprises a GPS unit, a thermometer, and an accelerometer that determine a patient’s temperature, relative position, and level of physical activity. The shirt also includes electrodes to measure and record bioelectric signals such as electrocardiograms.

SMART SHIRT

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

All signals are sent wirelessly to an indoor information-management unit that stores the data for future analysis.

While the system wasn’t exactly created to keep patients escaping from hospitals, the wearable technology certainly has a number of worthy applications. With slight modifications, the high-tech tee can be used to diagnose cardiac anomalies in athletes or remotely monitor patients in their homes. Over time, the researchers hope to incorporate all the sensors into one intelligent garment. We sure hope it’s comfortable.

+ Press Release

+ Universidad Carlos III de Madrid