Progress in Interactive Textiles for Health Monitoring
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Interactive textiles have the capability to interact with the user, which means they embed sensors, local intelligence and actuators to achieve this goal. This interactivity requires to dispose of smart textiles, made of smart materials, completing the often used wording “Smart fabrics and interactive textiles” or SFIT. The term smart is used to refer to materials that sense and respond in a pre-defined way to environmental stimuli. Heath monitoring is an important field of application for smart textiles. Results and sometimes products such as shirts measuring electrocardiogram, respiration or body temperature have been achieved and are examples of state-of-the-art from the monitoring point-of-view. Making use and combining these signals to derive higher-level information and to provide feed-back in a comprehensive way to the user or to a caregiver are the starting point to interactivity. Sometimes, the textile provides itself interactivity; more often it is combined with discrete electronics and sometimes organic electronics. The convergence between textiles, smart materials and information technology is explored in the case of health monitoring. Several projects and their results are used to illustrate the progress in the field.
Advances in Science and Technology, vol. 86, pp. 1-8