What do your clothes say about you? Quite a bit, if you're wearing the Vivometrics LifeShirt, right. The sleeveless shirt -- it looks something like a cycling jersey without the neon colors -- is stitched with sensors that record heartbeat, body temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs. The product has been used so far primarily for monitoring of patients in intensive care and other settings.
But now the LifeShirt is being pitched as a device to wirelessly "deliver real-time life signs for first responders," said Andy Behar, president of Vivometrics Government Services, a company subsidiary.
For example, the shirt could signal a firefighter who wears it -- as well as his command post -- that he is at risk of overheating and it's time to pull back. Doctors are also using the shirt for to monitor patients in some circumstances.
Vivometrics, which recently contracted to provide the Army the technology for the shirt's wireless respiratory monitoring, next week begins demonstrating the LifeShirt for the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The machine-washable shirt -- available in "adult and pediatric sizes" as a prescription medical device, according to the Vivometrics Web site -- is not sold directly to consumers. It weighs about nine ounces by itself, or nearly two pounds when combined with its PDA-sized recording device and battery and data cable. Behar declined to give its price.
-- Matt McMillen