Maxim Integrated Products has unveiled a new vital signs monitoring shirt that enables medical professionals to perform frequent and less costly fitness monitoring that could lead to more effective preventive medical care. The highly integrated shirt measures ECG, body temperature, and motion. All diagnostic tools are packaged in a shirt that has been designed to be comfortable to wear.
The new “Fit” shirt integrates dry ECG sensor technology, complex signal processing technology, temperature sensor, motion sensor, an ultra-low-power microcontroller and wireless electronics. The design is the result of the combined work of three collaborating companies, Maxim Integrated, Clearbridge VitalSigns and Orbital Research. According to a Maxim company spokesman the shirt represents “a new era in preventive medical care that could reduce health care costs by up to 10x.”
According to research from ABI the market for wearable devices could reach more than 100 million units annually by 2016.
Clearbridge VitalSign’s advanced motion artifact rejection algorithms effectively separate the ECG signal from the noise. This solves the mechanical challenges of making the shirt comfortable for almost any shaped wearer while ensuring good electrode placement and good quality signals.
Patented and FDA cleared dry electrodes from Orbital enable the capture of all the nuances of ECG waveform morphology with no discomfort to the wearer of the shirt. The dry electrodes do not require skin preparation or adhesives which allows reading continuous clinical-grade ECG signals from the host wearer for extended periods of wear.
Maxim contributed a number of devices to the shirt including the low power MAXQ622 microcontroller to support easy-to-program interfacing of multiple technologies; the MAX8671 power-management IC that is able to deliver quiet supplies and efficient switching to the various sensors and the MAX6656 ultra-low-power temperature sensor to enable plug-and-play integration into the system.“Maxim is working through business relationships with companies like Clearbridge VitalSigns and Orbital Research to enable new integrated solutions that are already advancing new techniques of medical delivery,” said Chris Neil, Senior Vice President for Maxim.