Smartlife Heart Rate Validation Study
One successful example of e-textile technology is an ECG sensing technology demonstrated by Smartlife. Smartlife’s soft-sensors are made entirely from soft textiles, which are neat and discreet within a garment, washable, comfortable, low-cost and most importantly accurate. They are able to be integrated within compression garments such as vests, t-shirts, bras and sports chest straps. For the company, this means that monitoring form factors can be designed and tailored to meet the needs of its licensees’ various applications which are understandably different for sports to well-being or workwear to blue light applications.
The technology has been validated in partnership with St Mary’s University who ran studies against Smartlife’s ECG / HR garment and found a minimum 0.95 correlation with both a Vyntus ECG machine and the Polar H7 chest strap. Smartlife sensors were ECG comparison tested throughout a range of activity and gradient levels which commenced at 6 kph and 2% gradient up to 14% gradient workload. Polar activity comparisons ranged from 9 kph through to 12 kph. (See graph below.)
As consumers become more and more aware of wearables, demand for simplicity, low cost and normality becomes higher on the purchaser’s needs, replicating the take-up of Fitbit and more recently the Apple Watch as examples. Everyday garments which have sensors built into them as standard, yet with the option to implement bio monitoring as and when required, becomes a vision for far wider acceptance and consumer use.