Health care sector has a growing need and awareness in bringing in new scientific possibilities and technologies. Electronic textiles have proved itself as a work of wonder not just as apparels of the future but also for healthcare products.
E-textiles are intelligent fabrics with electronics embedded in them and possess digital components. It uses minuscule conductive fibres and electronic parts on the fabric. The conductive fibers used are specially treated to be conductive in nature or the ones existing naturally. E-textile has many functions as that of sensory, data transfer, data collecting, thermo chormic display, heating elements etc., hence it has used for creating textiles in various sectors like medical, safety, clothing and interiors. The e-textile has been growing since a long time. With rapid inventions and research this has a growing potential in all sectors, mostly medical and healthcare.
E-textiles function on different components, structure, hardware, software, performance and its construction. The fabric is the main medium of these. The construction involves on the fabric where the structure is embedded upon while manufacturing. Structure of the e-textile involves designing, fusiong of data paths and embedding of electronic circuits. The hardware constitutes the microchips, sensors and other such mechanisms. The processing and communicating of date is done by the software. But the most important role is played by the performance metric, as it evaluates all the parameters from cost to manufacturing, to dimensions and flow of data. Production cost is a bit high, respected to the innovations, design, research, technology and software.
E-TEXTILE AND HEALTHCARE SECTOR
E-textiles act as the second skin and have unique purposes in healthcare. They are designed not only for comfort but also for functionality. This is why it has a growing demand and also potential for the future. Smart sensors in e-textiles help in monitoring patients. It detects, acquires and transmits signals and helps in communicating about the patient’s condition. It can also be used for studying cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological issues. Due to its growing demand, many companies have been producing more of e-textiles for sports and athletic wear.
The conductive materials are made up of electrical and optical fibres. The fibers are developed from metals like steel, alloys, carbon and titanium. The fabrics are finely made and have minute filaments so that it feels comfortable on the skin. Sensors and processors used in e-textiles for medical industry are data collectibles which can measure compressions, temperature, pressure, heartbeat.
With the emergence of e-textile doctors can supervise and collect data about their patient from far away, through wireless assistance.
E-TEXTILES IN THE FUTURE
The future of e-textiles in healthcare can be predicted to have more advancements and sustainability. It shall advance not only technologically but also in the area for other purposes like seizure, sustenance of energy and power, and othe intelligent functions.