Textile electronics built into clothes are as reliable as traditional electrodes when it comes to measuring vital signs, research at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden demonstrates. The study by researcher Juan Carlos Márquez found that measurements from textile electrodes can be used to accurately measure heart functions, weight, body fat, muscle mass and body fluids, among other measurements.
Electrodes embedded in clothing can advance telehealth, especially when it comes to the monitoring of chronically ill patients. Traditional electrodes for this use need to be applied by hospital staff with a sticky gel. Since the gel can be allergenic, the electrodes cannot be worn for an extended time. Textile electronics can be used for a longer time, thereby reducing hospital visits and costs.
Previously, a pilot study by KTH researcher Fernando Seoane Martinez demonstrated that textile electrodes can help protect babies in the intensive care unit, since the electrodes won’t damage the babies’ skin like traditional electrodes can.