The Future of LOBIN and Smart-apparel Technology
This application of technology means big changes, not just for hospital guests, but across a whole spectrum of human uses. Imagine if you could leave the hospital weeks, or months, early: Wireless transmission of your stats could help doctors assess your status while you're in your own home or going about your normal life. The LOBIN shirt as now designed can even be set to send text alerts to doctors if certain conditions -- heartrate, say, or temperature -- go above certain levels.
Of course, the downside is that patients could easily introduce their own human errors. We've all heard stories about patients abusing or neglecting their prescription regimen, and in fact most of us have forgotten to take our pills when getting over an infection or flu. After all, any treatment -- whether pharmaceutical or via medical device -- is subject to patient neglect and error. If the electrodes and other monitoring tools in the shirt aren't in direct contact with the patient's skin, readings will be inaccurate, or won't be taken at all. But by the same token, patients who are committed to receiving (and taking) the best care for their bodies that they can will soon be given that much more freedom to do so, while also making hospitals more efficient and happier places to be.
And it's not just hospitals that will benefit from the developments in this technology that we're seeing now: Scientists on the project also predict innovations for those in high-stress athletic or physical occupations will also benefit. The same technology can help predict heart irregularities long before patients in dangerous jobs would even notice a problem. The possibilities and permutations of this technology are endless, once you think about it, and with transistors continuing to get smaller -- and micro- and nanobuilding capabilities ever expanding the materials we can use to build these circuits -- it's possible that one day "dumb" clothes will seem as comparatively silly as beepers and candy-bar phones seem to us today.