LifeShirt is a wearable ‘smart fabric‘ that can be used to remotely monitor multiple vital signs. It is made by VivoMetrics, a Ventura, CA based startup founded in 1999. From what I can gather, LifeShirt captures data around heart rate, respiration, posture, activity level, temperature, limb II ECG and can connect to optional peripheral devices for EEG, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure and galvanic skin response.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a subset of telemedicine that includes devices and software that enable healthcare providers and educators to diagnose, monitor and follow up patients remotely. There is a lot of potential in smart fabrics to enable RPM, especially for chronic diseases like Asthma, CHF, Hypertension, etc. I’m personally very excited to see companies enter this space and solutions becoming more and more mainstream.
Currently VivoMetrics is focusing on clinical research and sleep apnea study market. Their next generation product is supposed to be lighter, more comfortable and with the ability to transmit data wirelessly. Also in the works is a partnership with OBS Medical to incorporate their Visensia® software as a predictive tool.
September 2010 Update: LifeShirt and VivoMetrics websites don’t work anymore. Seems like they ran out of runway.