HealthWatch, an Israeli pioneer in harnessing textile technology to produce fashionable, smart-digital garments with interwoven sensors that unobtrusively measure vital signs at hospital-grade quality on Monday announced that Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Has invested $20 million in the Israeli startup. Shijiazhuang Yiling is traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange at a $2.5 billion market cap.
Woven into the fabric used in HealthWatch’s hWear shirts are very thin electrocardiogram sensors that take in the data associated with the wearer’s vital signs and upload this information to the wearer via a mobile device, or to a doctor. The patient can be alerted to seek medical attention without having to first get to a clinic for an ECG exam.
The hWear shirt works with HealthWatch’s MasterCaution line of products, which use mobile and cloud technology for monitoring and reporting critical health information. It is designed for people who are active (the shirts are machine-washable).
“We sell peace of mind,” said HealthWatch chairman Dr. Yoram Romem, whose website explains: “We have developed a pure textile smart garment incorporating specialized three-dimensional (3D) dry textile electrode sensors with proprietary advanced knitting software.
“The 3D dry textile electrodes maintain flexibility and stability when the garment is moved, bent or machine-washed. They also eliminate the need for time-consuming skin preparation, such as shaving adhesives, by maximizing the contact area on the skin. Our advanced knitting software enables automatic self-placement of electrodes, removing the need for a medical professional, and saving valuable clinical time.
“Our smart clothing technology enables accurate vital sign monitoring anywhere. For cardiac patients our hospital quality, continuous 12-15 lead ECG monitoring can see the full ECG cardiac picture in real-time outside the hospital setting. This may enable the discovery of previously undetectable cardiac conditions such as cardiac ischemia, and more accurate monitoring of arrhythmias for improved patient safety. All other homecare smart wearables on the market are 3-5 lead ECG’s so lack this accuracy. Our patented platform technology can be adapted to fit wider market needs with new textile sensors (e.g. Bispectral Index (BIS), Electromyogram (EMG)) developed to extend clinical applications.”