A 'smart shirt' designed to remotely monitor the wearer's health via a series of sensors is set to be tested in space in an upcoming mission by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
It has signed a $2.4m deal with Carré Technologies that will see the wearable sensors developer's bio-monitoring system taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS) by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques during a six-month mission in 2018-2019.
The wearable tech - called Astroskin - collects scientific data on activity levels, sleep quality and vital signs, including blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate and electrical activity, and breathing rate.
Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, co-founder and chief executive of Carré Technologies, said: “Deploying our wearable sensors and software to the ISS is significant as this represents the ultimate remote patient monitoring scenario.
“The findings tracking the health of astronauts will be used to make our healthcare system more accessible and support new home care and telemedicine services.”
The Astroskin developers already have an eye on the technology's future in cardiology and sleep treatment, and hope to use data collected from the ISS trial to help bring the product to market for health monitoring in hard-to-reach patients worldwide.
Canadian minister for transport Marc Garneau said: “Astroskin may have many applications on Earth, such as medical monitoring of those confined to their homes by illness, people living in remote areas with limited medical access, and those working in hazardous environments.
“It is another in a long list of space technologies brought down to Earth for all of us.”