Science News

Underwear To Die For (but it Could Save your Life)

Sun, 19th Oct 2003

Part of the show How does the Nose Work ?

Soon sufferers of heart conditions could be wearing super-smart electronic underwear that will call an ambulance when they need one. German researchers have developed bras and underpants with sensors in them that monitor the wearer's heart beat and a microprocessor that analyses signals and looks for signs of dangerous heart rhythms, such as very fast or slow beats. If trouble is detected, the smart pants will automatically dial up for medical assistance, either via a blue-toothed enabled mobile phone or by connecting directly to a telephone network. Unlike previous electrocardiograms that are used in hospitals to monitor heart beats, the new underwear doesn't have sensors that are stuck on the skin, and instead uses a new type of dry electrode that has to remain in contact with the skin, which is why the sensors are being incorporated into tight fitting underwear. And luckily the control unit is removable so the underwear can be machine washed and ironed.


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