Sporting a special bra that sends out warning signal when you are about to get a heart attack may have been a dream until an Indian-origin researcher-led team in the US designed one. Vijay Varadan and his colleagues at the University of Arkansas designed the sporting bra exclusively for women, who are unwell or into athletes. The bra is equipped with integrated sensors that measure the vital health signals and uploads the derived information to a wireless network such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that the doctor as well as the patient can access for signs of a heart attack.
Varadan reported that the e-bra enables continuous as well as real-time monitoring of the heart’s activity to identify any path physiological changes. Several sensors to monitor cardiac health are integrated into the fabric to help the doctor know the activity of the heart. The garment works by collecting and transmitting the health signals to any part of the world. Some of the elements the garment monitors include body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, neural activity and oxygen consumption. Similar to the conventional electrocardiograph, the garment takes reading and tells if the patient is about to have a heart attack so the patient and the doctor can take adequate steps.
This method of knowing when someone is about to have a heart attack does not require a cuff or extra accessories to measure the blood pressure and can therefore, replace the conventional blood-pressure monitors. The sensors as smaller in size i.e. than the size of a dime and are composed of arrays of fold nano-electrodes that are fabricated on to a flexible base. The sensors are seamlessly woven into the bra material.
The sensors communicate with the system software through a wireless module that easily grabs on to the bra. The system software collects and compresses the information before transferring it to a secure database over a network. The data can be easily viewed on different windows for each measurement. The garment also includes a GPS that can track the patient anywhere in the world.
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