The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Heartbeat apparel

Amsterdam, Oct. 8 (Reuters): Heart patients may soon be able to buy underwear designed to detect heart rhythm abnormalities and even call for an ambulance in case of emergency, according to researchers at Netherlands-based Philips Electronics.

The researchers have developed sensors that measure body signals, such as heart rate information, which can be sown into bras and shorts and which connect to a thin chip module that monitors the signals. “These sensors pick up electric signals in the body. They don’t have to touch the skin and can be sown into clothes, which can be put in the laundry,” a spokesman for Philips Research said.

It might take a few years before a commercial product will be on the market, because different interested parties such as doctors, telecoms operators and insurance companies will have to agree on how to use it. Three months of data on body signals can be stored in the module. Abnormal signals will be detected by the module, and doctors can also use the information to analyse them, Philips said.

Should the patient suffer a heart attack, the system can trigger local alarms or wirelessly link with a mobile phone.

The thin module should be worn on the body, close to the sensors, and is designed to slip into a dedicated pocket.

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