Smart Clothing for Health Care

Smart Clothing for Health Care

Nuno M. Garcia (Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal & University of Beira Interior, Portugal & Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies, Portugal), Paula Sofia Sousa (Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal & University of Beira Interior, Portugal), Isabel G. Trindade (University of Beira Interior, Portugal), Rui Miguel (University of Beira Interior, Portugal) and José Lucas (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0888-7.ch003
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Abstract

The use of wearable technologies in medicine and health care has become of important in order to considerably improve benefits for patients and health service providers. Within telemedicine, biomedical clothing plays a crucial role. The main technology advances and the research of the Textile and Paper Materials Research Unit (UMTP) and of the Assisted Living Computing and Telecommunications Laboratory (ALLab) teams, in the area, will be addressed. Issues that remain unsolved will be presented. The chapter presents an overview of the key concepts for telemedicine and the role of textile electrodes and their integration in smart clothing. The development of software algorithms that specifically handle signals that are collected using biomedical clothing, integrating resiliency and a proper set of alarms, is presented and discussed in the context of classical biomedical signal processing. Finally, biomedical clothing design will be discussed in social, psychological, and esthetical contexts.
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Background

Since the year 2000, the European Union invested over 500M€ (De Lombaerde & Van Langenhouve, 2011) in Research and Development (R&D) projects, on intelligent clothing or smart garments, due to its strategic importance for potential savings in the health care national systems and in the improvement of the quality of life for the society. In Europe, in particular, the increasingly large segment of elderly population demands for wearable technologies in Medicine and Health Care. Several European Projects, involving Industrials and Research Centres were financed (e.g.http://www.biodevices.pt).

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