Venturing around research activities into wearable electronic another European funded projects got my attention: the HealthWear project, a collaboration funded by the Directorate General Information Society of the European Commission with the aim to deliver a service that provides uninterrupted and ubiquitous monitoring of the health condition of individuals in rehabilitation phase.
Integrating monitoring function such as sensors for heart rate measurement, blood flow, perspiration, stress and temperature into special health care clothing provides more wearing comfort compared to sensor patches attached to the skin. Wearable health care systems give also more mobility to patients, improving their life style which in turn enhances the overall effectiveness of the treatment.
‘By embedding the sensors in a shirt, sweater or vest that patients feel comfortable wearing, and requiring only a mobile phone-sized device to gather and transmit the information, the system empowers patients to be more active and independent while letting caregivers check on them at anytime or in any place as necessary,‘ explains Theodore Vontetsianos, the head of the e-Health Unit at Sotiria General Chest Diseases Hospital in Athens, Greece.
As promising these research projects are they highlight the many ‘white spots’ wearable technologies still have and the need to be explored and developed. Explored in terms of reliability and explored in terms of manufacturability on a scale that allows reasonable pricing and accessibility to the public.
The wearable technology field is (still) full of challenges and opportunities along the product creation value chain. It’s up to the creative and adventurous to take on these challenges to enrich peoples’ life and oneself.