Maxim Integrated Products is collaborating with Clearbridge VitalSigns and Orbital Research to produce a reference design for a highly integrated, telehealth fitness ('Fit') shirt that enables patient monitoring and lowers the cost of medical diagnoses.
The shirt, which enables 24/7 connected health monitoring that will help to lower medical care costs, will be demonstrated for the first time at electronica 2012. The demonstration shirt will be powered by a rechargeable Li+ battery and will be capable of measuring temperature and activity as well as featuring a 3-lead ECG.
A key attribute of the shirt will be its connectivity capabilities that feature Bluetooth to an iPhone and iPad running an app that helps to display vital signs monitoring data that can also be shown on a larger monitor if required. USB will be used for charging requirements.
The new vital signs monitoring shirt will enable medical professionals to perform frequent and less costly fitness monitoring that will lead to more effective preventive medical care. The highly integrated shirt measures 3-lead ECG, body temperature, and motion. All diagnostic tools are packaged in a shirt that is 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 experience, expertise, and inventive synergies from three collaborating companies, Maxim Integrated, Clearbridge VitalSigns, and Orbital Research. The shirt represents a new era in preventive medical care that could reduce health care costs by up to 10x.
"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. "The market for wearable devices will reach more than 100 million units annually by 2016 according to ABI Research."
Maxim Integrated has made several contributions to the new 'Fit' shirt which includes the ultra-low power MAXQ622 microcontroller for easy-to-use and easy-to-program interfacing of multiple technologies. In addition, the MAX8671 power-management IC will deliver quiet supplies and efficient switching to the various sensors. The MAX6656 ultra-low-power temperature sensor will be used to enable plug-and-play integration into the system while Maxim's MAX3204 USB protector ensures safe handling and removed shock and ESD hazard from the electronics.
As part of the project Clearbridge VitalSigns is providing the company's ultra-low-power, multichannel CBVS1202 ECG-on-a-chip for an extended period of 3-lead ECG data acquisition. Clearbridge VitalSign's advanced motion artifact rejection algorithms will be used to separate the ECG signal from the noise which overcomes the mechanical challenges of making the shirt comfortable for almost any shaped wearer while ensuring good electrode placement and good quality signals. The shirt will also feature Clearbridge VitalSign's innovative 3-lead ultra-thin CardioLeaf housing design together with a fully integrated GUI application on desktop and mobile device.
Orbital Research's input to the shirt design includes Patented and FDA cleared dry electrodes that 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 Integrated will demonstrate the 'Fit' shirt live at electronica 2012 (Munich/Germany, Nov 13 – 16) in Hall A6, Booth 163.
Visit Maxim Integrated at http://www.maximintegrated.com.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.