Finnish companies excel in intelligent clothing

Clothing+ and Myontec have attracted international interest with wearable sensors that provide valuable data for medical and sporting purposes.

The Finnish companies Clothing+ and Myontec have pioneered the development of wearable sensors used in intelligent or smart clothing that can be used for collecting data about the body for medical and sporting purposes. Connected health – using technology to provide self- and remote care – is of major interest in Finland because of the country’s rapidly ageing population and the need to maximize healthcare resources. Wearable sensors now make it possible to monitor and record a wide range of data in real life conditions that is useful to doctors and their patients as well as sportspeople.

Clothing+ created the world’s first heart rate sensing shirt in 1998. According to Clothing+, much of the monitoring and measurements required in health care could be carried out in the patients’ homes with the help of intelligent clothing. Mikko Malmivaara, Sales & Marketing Manager at Clothing+, is expecting growth especially in sports products during the next five years. The testing and approval of products in the medical field takes more time. Today Clothing+ is currently cooperating with Suunto, Adidas, Garmin, Philips and Timex. The company’s turnover in 2012 was EUR 9 million.

Analytical shorts

Myontec’s analytical shorts that measure muscle activity were among the list of “innovations that will change your tomorrow” published by the The New York Times in 2012. Myontec’s shorts have been purchased, for example, by a Premier Division football team in England and an ice hockey team in the NHL.

Myontec states that its concept makes it possible, for the first time in the world, to study and record muscle activity and functions based on electromyography (EMG) in habitual real life conditions. According to Myontec, the data can be used to activate muscles in the correct order, balance muscular loading profiles, detect hidden problems and deviations, relax muscles during each cycle of motion, and recruit muscles efficiently in all intensity domains. This opens a whole new world for the research and applications of the information gained from muscle functions.

Sources: Taloussanomat, Clothing+ , Myontec