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This Shirt Could Save Your Life

Is it possible for the elderly and people with heart conditions to maintain independence without compromising their safety? With the right technology, the answer is yes.

Those of us who remember the time before cellphones also remember the time when we saw commercials for devices that allowed people living alone to get help by pressing the button on a pendant. This video is one example of the commercial that immortalized the line, “I've fallen and I can't get up!”

Fast-forward some 35 years to this video and see how things have changed. Today's seniors are no longer depicted as helpless characters tripping over their walkers, but are instead seen as active individuals. They are aware that they need to monitor their health and be in contact with health professionals, but instead of having to press a button, they can wear an “hWear” shirt from HealthWatch, an Israeli startup with the slogan, “Weaving Health Into Everyday Life.”

Woven into the fabric used in hWear shirts are very thin electrocardiogram sensors that take in the data associated with the wearer's vital signs and upload this information via Bluetooth or a WiFi connection. The collected information can be reported to a doctor or back to the wearer via a mobile device. If there are any danger signs in the data, the patient can be alerted to seek medical attention without having to first come into an office just to get the ECG.

The shirt works with HealthWatch's MasterCaution line of products, which use mobile and cloud technology for monitoring and reporting critical health information. That technology makes “telemonitoring” possible, allowing people to go about whatever daily activities they choose without having to be shadowed by someone who is constantly checking up on them. Designed for people who are active, the shirts are also machine-washable — a great benefit for the practical-minded among us.

As Uri Amar, HealthWatch's CEO says, “Unlike other products that report only heart rate, our new healthwear garment is a true medical device monitoring full 15-lead ECGs along with other physiological vital signals. It will change the future of personal monitoring offering around-the-clock peace of mind to users — wherever their lifestyle takes them.”

Anyone who has had an ECG in a doctor's office has had to lie still for a while, but these shirts are designed to pick up an accurate signal even when the wearer is moving, and with the functional capability of a 15-lead ECG, the data should be as reliable as anything one would be hooked up to in a hospital.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EETimes.

29 comments on “This Shirt Could Save Your Life

  1. Daniel
    November 4, 2014

    “The shirt works with HealthWatch's MasterCaution line of products, which use mobile and cloud technology for monitoring and reporting critical health information. That technology makes “telemonitoring” possible, allowing people to go about whatever daily activities they choose without having to be shadowed by someone who is constantly checking up on them.”

    Ariella, what's the technology behind such monitoring. Is it something based on wearable technology or IoT?

  2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    November 5, 2014

    There are so many products coming on the market in this health arena, that it is going to be intereseting to see which one wins out. Microsoft is getting into the act to. This from a recent analyst report:

    Software developer Microsoft Corporation recently launched Microsoft Health, its health application and Microsoft Band, its long rumored wearable health and fitness device.

    Microsoft Health includes a cloud service for customers to store and put together health and fitness data from various sources to create a more insightful picture. Microsoft Health is not just platform specific but is available as a smart device application too. The app is available for free on Windows Phone, Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

    Microsoft Health will also collaborate with UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeep. Taking all these into account, Microsoft Health will enable the software developer to effectively compete against recently-launched health platforms from Google, Samsung and Apple.

  3. Ariella
    November 17, 2014

    @Jacob sorry for the delay in response. I didn't realize this blog posted here. The shirt itself is, of course, a form of wearable, though a washable one! The way the data gets transmitted is either through Bluetooth or WiFi.

  4. Daniel
    November 17, 2014

    “sorry for the delay in response. I didn't realize this blog posted here. The shirt itself is, of course, a form of wearable, though a washable one! The way the data gets transmitted is either through Bluetooth or WiFi.”

    Ariella, thanks for the details. So senor collected datas are transmitting via wifi or Bluetooth. I think both technologies have the limitations; while object is moving. How you are going to address such issues.

  5. Daniel
    November 17, 2014

    “Microsoft Health will also collaborate with UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeep. Taking all these into account, Microsoft Health will enable the software developer to effectively compete against recently-launched health platforms from Google, Samsung and Apple.”

    Hailey, for Microsoft the ultimate aim is business and they want to beat both Google and Apple.

  6. Ariella
    November 18, 2014

    @Jacob actually, the results are on par with hospital ECG systems. Having seen patients hooked up to such machines in hospitals over days, I can tell you that patients attached for long term monitoring on these things also have some issues. I believe they, too, would benefit from a shirt like this over the traditional tabs put on with adhesive. In the hospital, they have to then carry the pouch that contains the trasnmitter  with them every time they get up from their beds, which is not exactly convenient.  

  7. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    November 18, 2014

    @ariella, I talked to one designer recently who was working on this type of technology and he brought up washability as well. I hadn't thought of it, but it really is critically important, as is the aesthetics of the design since it is fashion.

  8. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    November 18, 2014

    @Jacob do you think Microsoft will beat Google and Apple?

  9. Daniel
    November 18, 2014

    “actually, the results are on par with hospital ECG systems. Having seen patients hooked up to such machines in hospitals over days, I can tell you that patients attached for long term monitoring on these things also have soemissues. I believe they, too, would benefit from a shirt like this over the traditional tabs put on with adhesive. In the hospital, they have to then carry the pouch that contains the trasnmitter  with them every time they get up from their beds, which is not exactly convenient.  “

    Ariella, that I understood and it seems that in house also they have to be bedridden while wearing the shirt/jacket.

  10. Daniel
    November 18, 2014

    “do you think Microsoft will beat Google and Apple?”

    Hailey, very difficult in near future. I mean i won't happen atleast for next 5-7 years

  11. Ariella
    November 19, 2014

    @Hailey yes, these shirts are described as washable in the machine on a warm cycle for up to 50 washes.

  12. Ariella
    November 19, 2014


    Ariella, that I understood and it seems that in house also they have to be bedridden while wearing the shirt/jacket.”

    @Jacob not at all! That's the idea; it's designed for active people. The promotional video shows them walking and biking outside. Really, that is not just a matter of convenience but of much better recording and safety, as they can be transmitting signals for a whole day rather than just the snapshot read of a few minutes that one gets from being strapped to a machine at an appointed time.

  13. Ariella
    November 19, 2014


    Ariella, that I understood and it seems that in house also they have to be bedridden while wearing the shirt/jacket.”

    @Jacob not at all! That's the idea; it's designed for active people. The promotional video shows them walking and biking outside. Really, that is not just a matter of convenience but of much better recording and safety, as they can be transmitting signals for a whole day rather than just the snapshot read of a few minutes that one gets from being strapped to a machine at an appointed time.

  14. Ariella
    November 19, 2014


    Ariella, that I understood and it seems that in house also they have to be bedridden while wearing the shirt/jacket.”

    @Jacob not at all! That's the idea; it's designed for active people. The promotional video shows them walking and biking outside. Really, that is not just a matter of convenience but of much better recording and safety, as they can be transmitting signals for a whole day rather than just the snapshot read of a few minutes that one gets from being strapped to a machine at an appointed time.

  15. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    November 19, 2014

    @Ariella, it's a good start, but i think the fabrics will have to become more robust if its really going to catch on. That's only  a year with a weekly washing which seems conservative for me.

  16. Ariella
    November 19, 2014

    @Hailey that's true, but really most clothes today don't withstand more than that. In that case, the fabric itself tends to pill and tear, though for these shirts I believe its really a matter of too much trauma on the sensors after 50 washes. 

  17. Adeniji Kayode
    November 20, 2014

    @jacob, The business might not be bad as long as they are solving a problem

  18. Adeniji Kayode
    November 20, 2014

    @Ariella, With much power comes more responsibilies, carrying the transmitter around may not be convenient but then monitoring the transmitter to make sure your health is being monitored where and when neccessary is important.if left beyond reach, how would you know if you are being monitored

  19. Ariella
    November 20, 2014

    @Adeniji the way this works, the wearer wouldn't be beyond reach, as s/he carries the transmitting device with him/her. The only problem would be going to a place that would intefere with the Bluetooth or WiFi. Still, this is a lot more range than a hospital device ever can offer. 

  20. Adeniji Kayode
    November 20, 2014

    @Ariella, I got you on that but can't this be networked into the phone line or signal.This may have a broader coverage.

  21. Ariella
    November 20, 2014

    @Adenji It does send signals that way. The main list of features shows:

    • Personal smartphone alerts (Bluetooth)
    • Remote monitoring via Cloud and/or WiFi

    The shirt merely has to send the signals. Analysis in real time is handled by the software in the :powerful monitor-and-alert unit unobtrusively located in the shirt's side pocket constantly analyzing actual ECG signals in real-time for cardiac events such as arrhythmias & ischemia automatically generating a local alert.” You can visit personal-healthwatch.com to learn more about the technology 

  22. Daniel
    November 20, 2014

    “not at all! That's the idea; it's designed for active people. The promotional video shows them walking and biking outside. Really, that is not just a matter of convenience but of much better recording and safety, as they can be transmitting signals for a whole day rather than just the snapshot read of a few minutes that one gets from being strapped to a machine at an appointed time.”

    Ariella, for moving peoples how this data transfer can happen; they have to be in the vicinity of wifi range.

  23. Daniel
    November 20, 2014

    ” they can be transmitting signals for a whole day rather than just the snapshot read of a few minutes that one gets from being strapped to a machine at an appointed time.”

    Ariella, for moving peoples, what about the power requirements for the monitoring and sending data cross the nearby wifi receiving stations.

  24. Daniel
    November 20, 2014

    “not at all! That's the idea; it's designed for active people. The promotional video shows them walking and biking outside. “

    Ariella, good and its better to have atleast in house mobility. Otherwise peoples may feel that they are bedridden patients.

  25. Daniel
    November 20, 2014

    “The business might not be bad as long as they are solving a problem”

    Adeniji, its al depends upon convenience of peoples. Such medical diagnostic centers are there in all most all hospitals and every corner of the street. But peoples won't like to walk in to such centers; they need to be monitored by in-house on their own convenience and that's the business point.

  26. Ariella
    November 21, 2014

    @Jacob yes, you'd need the WiFi or phone signal the work, the same as you would if you want to use your mobile phone. Doubtless, there are areas that are dead zones. However, the shirt will still track a person much more accurately than just a few minutes on an ECG machine would. 

  27. Adeniji Kayode
    November 21, 2014

    :@jacob, That may be done by the use of a battery. A lithium or other related battery may be used, but then its has to be a power source that allows mobility.

  28. Daniel
    November 23, 2014

    “That may be done by the use of a battery. A lithium or other related battery may be used, but then its has to be a power source that allows mobility.”

    Adeniji, If it's an in house they can use direct plug in power system. I mean without the need of a battery.

  29. Daniel
    November 23, 2014

    “yes, you'd need the WiFi or phone signal the work, the same as you would if you want to use your mobile phone. Doubtless, there are areas that are dead zones. However, the shirt will still track a person much more accurately than just a few minutes on an ECG machine would. “

    Ariella, thanks for this clarification. So I understood that even in dead zones, it may continue with the monitoring process and transmitted over wifi, when signals are available. 

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