Clothing that could relay life-saving data to your doctor
The future of healthcare is touchably close. A smart fabric developed at Drexel University could soon spare a pregnant woman from frequent, cumbersome monitoring by instead relaying information to her doctor through an unobtrusive, high-tech belly band.
Drs. Kapil Dandekar, Adam Fontecchio, and Timothy Kurzweg at Drexel’s College of Engineering, Genevieve Dion of Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and Dr. Owen Montgomery of Drexel’s College of Medicine, led a multidisciplinary effort to produce this revolutionary biomedical textile.
The team used custom knitting software, electrically conductive thread and radio frequency identification tag technology to make a prototype that monitors the intensity of a woman’s uterine contractions and alerts physicians. Free from batteries or bulky electronics, the band is seamless, lightweight and supremely comfortable for the wearer.
Future iterations of the smart fabric -- such as the one being studied now in babies at risk for sleep apnea -- could save lives and dramatically improve the way physicians monitor and treat a variety of medical conditions.