At least one million people in Britain are known to have atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular heart rhythm and raises the risk of stroke and nearly one million people in Britain are known to have atrial fibrillation, which creates an irregular heart rhythm and increases the risk of stroke. Now there is a high tech garment that could help lessen these scary statistics.
Ok, it’s not particularly fashionable, but the Cardioskin is a high tech t-shirt that can detect abnormalities that could help protect people against stroke. It has been designed to monitor the wearer’s heart electrical activity and then thanks to a tiny chip strategically placed on the garment, the collected information is sent wirelessly to an app downloaded on the wearer’s smartphone. The great thing is that the wearer can then share the data with a cardiologist, who can assess the data which is converted into an easy-to-read chart showing if the heart rate is abnormal.
Developed by French drugs company Servier to improve the detection of dangerous heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation, the t-shirt can only be washed up to 35 times before it needs replacing which could be a compromise if it means that the risk of stroke is lessened. Also, potential suffers will no longer need to wear a device called a Holter under their clothes to try to monitor and pick up cardiac problems.
The Cardioskin t-shirt is a white cotton fabric with 15 strategically placed tiny electrodes woven into the material and powered by a removable battery that you need to remove to wash the T-shirt. Martin Cowie, a professor of cardiology at Imperial College London, said: “It is fantastic to see a new solution to the genuine problem of diagnosing intermittent heart abnormalities that may explain serious conditions such as syncope [fainting] or stroke.”
Although the price is yet to be announced, the Cardioskin t-shirt, the good news is that it has been approved for sale in the UK and is expected to become available for doctors to use later this year.