The wearable electrodes are fabricated from a conductive fiber, consisting of a silk or a synthetic fibre core coated with a conductive polymer called PEDOT-PSS.
This conductive polymer has excellent biocompatibility, and can deliver ECG measurements with a stability equivalent to that of conventional medical electrodes, without the need for attaching the electrodes to the skin with an electrolyte paste or gel.
As the textile electrodes are soft to the touch, flexible and breathable, long term monitoring which places no burden on the wearer is now possible. Studies conducted by NTT showed no signs of skin irritation or contact dermatitis after long-term use.
NTT now plans to conduct further experimentation, this time with 100 wearers, to further investigate their safety and effectiveness.
In the future, these wearable electrodes could be used to aid home or remote medical care, reducing the risk of heart attack through early detection and treatment of heart irregularities, or in fields such as sports, general fitness and scientific research.
VIDEO Monitor your heart rate simply by wearing a shirt with these wearable electrodes