Will smart clothing replace hospital gowns?

A new wearable fabric that adjusts temperature depending on the wearers needs could be used by doctors  to regulate the body temperatures of patients.

The clothing, designed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, calculate whether the wearer needs to be cooled or warmed based on the wearers ideal temprature.

The technology works by first identifying the person and measuring the ambient temperature., and then adjusts temperature to meet the patient’s needs.

This could be particularly useful for patients in hospital who feel cold after surgery or get too hot during an operation.

“Hospital patients have been asked about their most unpleasant experience, and the most common answer is feeling cold. Pain comes only second,” said  VTT’s principal scientist, Pekka Tuomaala. 

Hospital gown

As well as being useful to the medical community VTT imagines its smart clothing could be used in a number of different industries.

The company has said  its sees the technology being used in hospitals and nursing homes, but it also believes the technology could benefit a number of different consumer groups such as police officers, firemen, soldiers, outdoor workers, athletes and small babies.

The Taiwan Textile Research Institute has already tested VTT’s suitability for designing clothing for long-distance runners in different temperatures and as a means of developing solutions for the individual recovery of athletes after a sporting event.

Image courtesy of Enflux

Image courtesy of Enflux

VTT targeting of athletes follows the news that Enflux Smart Clothing launched a Kickstarter page to fund its workout-tracking smart clothing.

Enflux Smart Clothing tracks the movement of athletes wearing  a specifically engineered suit. The clothing collects data from the body, with 10 embedded motion sensors, and transmits that data to an accompanying smartphone app.

The initial release of Enflux in March 2017 will support weight training, plyometrics, and running, and the app will include over 50 of the most popular weightlifting, bodyweight, and running exercises.

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