Researchers introduce 'phyjamas' to monitor your health as you sleep

With unobtrusive, portable devices for monitoring respiratory rhythm and heart rate during sleep expected to come up in future, scientists have developed physiological-sensing textiles that can be made into sleep garments which they have named 'phyjamas'. Researchers explained that their team had to come up with several new ideas to make their vision a reality. They realised that there is no existing fabric-based method to sense continuous and dynamic changes in pressure, particularly given the small signals that they needed to measure. So they designed a new fabric-based pressure sensor and combined that with a triboelectric sensor -- one activated by a change in physical contact -- to develop a distributed sensor suite that could be integrated into loose-fitting clothing like pyjamas. The team also developed data analytics to fuse signals from many points that took into account the quality of the signal coming in from each location. The authors reported that this combination allowed them to detect physiological signals across many different postures. They performed multiple user studies in both controlled and natural settings and showed that they can extract heartbeat peaks with high accuracy, breathing rate with less than one beat per minute error, and perfectly predict sleep posture.