Vital Jacket Heart (Monitoring) Shirt Via Rudy Rucker

The BioDevices Vital Jacket heart monitoring shirt is a pretty cool-looking t-shirt with a serious purpose; it continuously monitors your heart rate. I think that Rudy Rucker should get at least some credit for imagining the heartshirt twenty years ago.


(Vital Jacket heart monitoring shirt vrom BioDevices)

Here's some scoopquote:

The Vital Jacket® is a wearable vital signs monitoring system that joins textiles with microelectronics. It was designed and developed to be a usable pragmatic approach for different clinical and normal life scenarios, in hospitals, home or on the move, that need continuous or frequent high quality vital signs monitoring from the patient or healthy subject.

It comes in two versions (available now): 100 that stores data on a SD memory card for posterior analysis in a PC and, HWM200 that allows on-line visualization using a smartphone/PDA. The device was designed for use in a "smart house for the elderly" that could monitor the occupants.

BioDevices calls their new t-shirt an "intelligent wearable garment" which actually sounds a bit creepy. I'm not sure if I'm ready for an intelligent garment - unless it was smart enough to crawl downstairs and into the washing machine...

Rudy Rucker was thinking along these lines (heart-wise) in his 1988 novel Wetware:

Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…

"It can feel your heartbeat … look." Sure enough there was a big red spot on the plastic shirt just over her heart, a spot that spread out into an expanding ring that moved on over her shoulders and down to her sleeves. (Read more about the heartshirt)

I like Rucker's design better; why not combine the data gathering device and the display?

I love this idea, and I've collected quite a few real-life inventions that are pretty close:

Via MedGadget and Vital Jacket.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/28/2008)

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