Advanced e-textiles for firefighters and civilian victims


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Related projects

ProeTEX is part of a significant number of related EU funded projects developing next generation wearable e-textile based systems integrating sensors, actuators, communications and power management.

A web site detailing the cluster of EC co-financed projects on Smart Fabrics and Interactive Textiles (SFIT) can be found at:

SFIT Cluster

In addition wearIT@work is developing wearable electronic systems for firefighter support amongst other areas.


wearIT@work is an IST Integrated Project which aims to prove the applicability of computer systems integrated to clothes, the so-called wearables, in various industrial environments. These novel computer systems will support their users or groups of users in an unobtrusive way e.g. wearing them as a computer-belt. This will allow them to perform their primary task without distracting their attention enabling computer applications in novel fields. The project will result in four pilot applications. In the first 18 months “Show Cases” are to be realised and evaluated. Based on the experiences gained there “System Prototypes” are to be developed, which will be the basis of the final “Industrial Pilots” in the four dedicated fields: Emergency Rescue; Healthcare; Maintenance and Production.


The MyHeart project is an IST Integrated Project whose goal is to gain knowledge on a citizen's actual health status by continuous monitoring of vital signs. It will integrate system solutions into functional clothes with integrated textile sensors. The combination of functional clothes and integrated electronics capable of processing them on-body can be defined as intelligent biomedical clothing. The processing consists of making diagnoses, detecting trends and reacting to them. Together with feedback devices, able to interact with the user as well as with professional services, the MyHeart system is formed. This system is suitable for supporting citizens to fight major CVD risk factors and help to avoid heart attack, other acute events by personalized guidelines and giving feedback. It provides the necessary motivation to adopt the new life styles.


Wealthy is an IST project in which smart materials in fiber and yarn form endowed with a wide range of electrophysical properties (conducting, piezoresistive, etc) are being integrated and used as basic elements to implement wearable system for collecting physiological data. Systems will be implemented by integrating computing techniques, smart sensors, portable devices and telecommunications, together with local intelligence and a decision support system. The proposed systems will assist patients during rehabilitation or subjects working in extreme stressful environmental conditions, ensure continuous intelligent monitoring.


The BIOTEX project is a Specific Targeted Research or Innovation Project (STREP) part of the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission, Priority 2&3, joint call between IST (Information Society Technologies) and NMP (Nanotechnology and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices).

The BIOTEX project aims at developing dedicated biochemical-sensing techniques compatible with integration into textiles. This goal represents a complete breakthrough, which allows for the first time the monitoring of body fluids via sensors distributed on a textile substrate and performing biochemical measurements. BIOTEX is addressing the sensing part and its electrical or optical connection to a signal processor. The approach aims to develop sensing patches, adapted to different targeted body fluids and biological species to be monitored, where the textile itself is the sensor. The extension to whole garment and the integration with physiological monitors is part of the roadmap of the consortium.


The STELLA project - Stretchable Electronics for Large Area Applications -  Consumers are increasingly taking responsibility for their health and physical condition: they want to manage their own health and feel good, by monitoring a variety of functions of the human body (ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygen saturation, temperature, etc) and activity related data (speed and acceleration obtained from body sensors) while doing sports, or throughout the day, or during recovery from illness.

In the STELLA project the development of such stretchable and soft-touch substrates, including assembly with electronic devices on these substrates is proposed.

Processes will be developed to produce a stretchable conductive pattern that can be composed of printed wiring, discrete wiring, or a combination thereof formed in a predetermined arrangement on a stretchable common base substrate. The soft-touch will be achieved by using base materials with a different chemistry than what is used today for flex substrates. Assembly methods for component mounting and interconnection, based on existing platform techniques, will have to be adapted.

Innovations from the STELLA project include:

  • New stretchable substrates with stretchable conductor patterns
  • Assembly technology on stretchable substrates, based on lead-free reflow soldering
    Integration methods for electronics in stretchable products

The new technology will be proven through a number of demonstrators for the end-users in the project. The STELLA project's duration is from 01.February 2006 till 31. January 2010. Eleven partners from industry and research located in 4 European countries cover the knowledge required for development and exploitation.

 
The ConText project - Contact less sensors for body monitoring incorporated in textiles -  is an Specific Targeted REsearch Project (STREP), funded by the IST program of the European Commission's 6th Framework. ConText started on January 1st, 2006, and will run for 30 months.

The objective of the project is to create a system where different types of sensors are incorporated into textiles to be used in continuous monitoring of individuals. Contact less sensors will be developed for the purpose of measuring electromyography and electrocardiography signals. The sensors will be integrated into textile to realise a prototype of a wearable vest. The combination of textile integration and signal processing of the myographic signals will push the development of personalised health applications.

 


The OFSETH project - Optical Fibre Sensors Embedded into technical Textile for Healthcare.

Healthcare monitoring is a general concern for patients requiring a continuous medical assistance and treatment. In order to increase mobility of such patients, a huge effort is pursued worldwide for the development of wearable monitoring systems able to measure vital physiological parameters such as respiration movements, cardiac activity, pulse oxymetry, temperature of the body. Technical or smart textiles that incorporate many different sensors play a growing role in these developments as they are well suited for wearability and can ensure comfort to the user. While most developments up to now have been focused on the use of electrical sensors, the aim of OFSETH is to take advantage of pure optical sensing technologies for extending the capabilities of medical technical textiles for wearable health monitoring.

OFSETH reasearch will focus on how silica and polymer optical fibres can be used for sensing vital parameters while being compatible with a textile manufacturing process.


 

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