June 12, 2014 – External Defibrillator
ANCHOR LEAD: CAN YOU WEAR A CARDIAC DEFIBRILLATOR? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Cardiac defibrillators, which detect the heart’s rhythm and shock it back to a normal beat when things go awry, save lives. But implantation into those at risk has its challenges. Now a device developed by Sandya Subramanian and colleagues in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins may allow this lifesaving technology to be worn as clothing.
SUBRAMANIAN: We started off thinking of what it had to do, and then what we wanted it to do. We went with a T-shirt based design. We took all of the electronic components that would look kind of ugly if they were outside and tried to integrate them into the shirt itself, so that from the outside it still looked esthetically pleasing. We tried to make it as comfortable as possible. We chose a waterproof, breathable fabric so its very easily cleaned but its also pretty comfortable to wear. It’s really important that the signal is very clear and consistent because that’s what these patients’ lives are depending on, and so that was one thing you could not compromise. :30
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.