Researchers at a University in the U.S. have developed a shirt that can monitor your heart rate.
The shirt was created with conductive carbon nanotube fibres that is said to be able to measure your heart rate efficiently and accurately.
Experts at Rice University in Houston, Texas, state that the nanotube fibres sewn into the shirt were successfully able to take a continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) of the wearer.
The fibres are just as conductive as metal wires, but washable, comfortable and far less likely to break when a body is in motion, according to the researchers.
On the whole, the shirt they enhanced was better at gathering data than a standard chest-strap monitor taking live measurements during experiments. When matched with commercial medical electrode monitors, the carbon nanotube shirt gave slightly better EKGs.
“The shirt has to be snug against the chest,” said Rice graduate student Lauren Taylor, lead author of the study. “In future studies, we will focus on using denser patches of carbon nanotube threads so there’s more surface area to contact the skin.”
The researchers noted nanotube fibres are soft and flexible, and clothing that incorporates them is machine washable. The fibres can be machine-sewn into fabric just like standard thread.
The zigzag stitching pattern allows the fabric to stretch without breaking them. The fibres provided not only steady electrical contact with the wearer’s skin but also served as electrodes to connect electronics like Bluetooth transmitters to relay data to a smartphone or connect to a Holter monitor that can be stowed in a user’s pocket, Taylor said.