Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Every Breath You Take

As readers of Fat Knowledge know, I am a huge fan of continual monitoring devices. I am digging on this LifeShirt.

VivoMetrics, a company based in Ventura, Calif., has fashioned a wearable device that can record vital signs throughout the day and night. Called the LifeShirt, it is a sleeveless spandex garment equipped with an electrocardiogram (ECG) for gauging heart rate and embedded wires for measuring respiration.

The LifeShirt can be outfitted with additional monitoring equipment, including a pulse oximeter for measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood and a throat microphone for determining the frequency of coughing.

By examining the data collected by the device, physicians can determine whether a child has sleep apnea and whether the condition is serious enough to warrant a surgical intervention, such as the removal of the tonsils or adenoids.
I think you could do lots of other cool stuff with this as well. Capturing heart rate, breathing rate you should be able to figure out other stuff as well.
The main advantage of the device is that it can provide researchers with a continuous stream of information about a patient's health. Instead of relying on intermittent tests conducted during office visits, physicians can analyze heart and respiratory rates measured over long periods and use the system's software to pinpoint signs of illness among the reams of data.
I totally love the concept of continual monitoring along with smart software. I think it is only a matter of time (well lots of time like 20-30 years) before everyone is wearing something like this. Adoption curve: soldiers, firemen, professional athletes, sick people then on to "normal" people.
Fire departments in Connecticut and Minnesota have tested LifeShirts in training exercises; worn under the firefighters' flame-retardant suits, the devices can wirelessly transmit data on heart rate, breathing, blood oxygen level and body temperature to officers in a nearby command truck. And the U.S. Army has signed a contract with VivoMetrics to incorporate the company's technology into a system designed to monitor the vital signs of soldiers during battle.
Now we are talking. Wirelessly transmitting data to a central command truck. This would also be cool for professional athletes. Imagine a coach being able to know if a player is being overworked without even having to ask him. Good stuff. Sign me up for one.

via Scienctific American

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