In February, a group of six set out on a 45-day expedition in Antarctica in order to test Astroskin, a smart shirt prototype developed by Carre Technologies for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). This expedition was one of 5 studies funded by the CSA testing technologies that aim to make space flight safer for astronauts.
Astroskin is Carre Technologies’ second smart shirt. It measures heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, respiration volume, calories burned, steps taken per minute, skin temperature, and an optical sensor tracks blood oxygenation and blood pressure. Users wearing the shirt during sleep are given a “sleep-efficiency score” based on movement, respiration and heart rate. This information is gathered by a small wireless-enabled device that users place in a small pocket in the shirt, then sent to a smartphone.
The Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) conducted additional testing of Astroskin in order to measure it’s accuracy, reliability of data, ease of use, and comfort. The CSA hopes that Astroskin will be available for consumers at some point.
“The great thing about this technology is that since it’s wireless it can be monitored at a distance,” CSA Chief Medical Officer Raffi Kuyumjian said in a video on CSA’s website. “It can be used also by patients on earth, people who live in remote communities, for example, who don’t have an easy access to a doctor. They can have these shirts on them all the time. It can trigger alarms if something wrong is happening and alert the doctors following them at a distance.”