Smart textiles to relieve health monitoring


The idea put into practice on the Electric Workshop course got students tickets to the Slush event.

Winners of the Aalto Ventures Program pitch competition: Hanna Kuha, Marjaana Martikainen, Jarkko Kiiski and Tuure Nurminen. Event hosted by Håkan Mitts. The jury consisted of Pauli Isoaho (Arctic Robotics) and Matti Kauhanen (ABB). Photo: Kimmo Silvonen

This autumn, the Electrical engineering workshop course groups had a chance to participate in the pitch competition organized by the Aalto Ventures Program. They had three minutes time to convincingly present the idea developed on the course to the jury of the competition. Third year Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering student Hanna Kuha managed in her task and got her group tickets to the Slush event.

‘The presentation went almost as planned. The only complaint was about the presentation’s duration which was 20 seconds short,’ tells Hanna who practised hard.

The jury consisted of representatives of the Arctic Robots and ABB companies. Altogether four Electrical workshop groups took part in the competition.

A practical experience to accompany theory

A few weeks before the traditional final seminar of the Electrical workshop course, the group designing the smart shirt are still busy.

‘We have the electronics but we aim at having a model textile ready. The idea is to manufacture an easy-to-use piece of fabric that can be attached to a shirt, for example,’ the group explain.

In addition to Hanna, the group comprises of Automation and Information Technology freshmen Marjaana Martikainen and Tuure Nurminen as well as Electronics and Electrical Engineering second year student Jarkko Kiiski.

The group has had the idea of making a smart textile since the beginning of the course. The idea has evolved during the course and the group ended up considering healthcare-related needs rather than monitoring used in sports. 

‘Aalto Ventures Program organised all students at the course one lecture and the practice session about the product development. After exchanging ideas on the course, our competition project focused on adapting our electronics for medical use, for example for the health observation of seniors,’ tells Hanna.

The smart textile measures and analyses the electrocardiogram (ECG) or pulse. The GPS sensor enables also location and measuring velocity and the distance travelled. In addition, device has a step counter.

‘The GPS information is useful when observing dementia patients, for example. In addition, our shirts can alert the abnormal functioning of the heart, such as heart attack’, adds Jarkko.

The group praises the Electrical engineering workshop for the practical experience it offers and for the freedom of choice for the project. Hanna, who analysed the energy harvesting of a wearable smart textile, was pleased with the experience she gained of electronics.

Welcome to the final seminar

The final seminar of the Electrical engineering workshop of autumn 2016 will be organised on 12 December. In addition to the smart shirt, you’re welcome to take a look and marvel at an amino acid game, different kinds of robots and a smart door among other things. Further information of the event page (In Finnish)

Get to know the course (youtube)