An international team of researchers believe graphene, the miraculous material set to change the world, will become part of the clothing we wear. No more bulky smart watches, phones, and music players hanging from our clothes. These things will be woven into our clothes. Research is beginning to show the potential to weave fitness, entertainment, GPS systems, communications equipment, security technology, and biomedical monitors into fabrics we wear. It is the latter example I find most interesting.
Our largest healthcare expenditure as a country is for chronic illness. A key ingredient to treating these diseases is monitoring. I can envision undergarments that can monitor blood pressure and heart rate. Socks could monitor ankle swelling, a key warning sign for millions of congestive heart failure patients.
Even body chemistry could be measured without drawing blood — our sweat holds an enormous amount of data about what is going on in our bodies. I see these capabilities being years away but not decades. In Health Attitude, I wrote about the trillions of microbes that live in us and on us — collectively known as our microbiome. At some point it may be possible to gather data from the microbes touching our clothes and transfer it to the cloud for analysis.