Wearable sensors have great potential uses in personal health monitoring systems, in which textile-based electrodes are particularly useful because they are comfortable to wear and are skin and environmentally friendly. In this paper, a hybrid textile electrode for electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement and motion tracking was introduced. The hybrid textile electrode consists of two parts: A textile electrode for ECG monitoring, and a motion sensor for patient activity tracking. In designing the textile electrodes, their performance in ECG measurement was investigated. Two main influencing factors on the skin-electrode impedance of the electrodes were found: Textile material properties, and electrode sizes. The optimum textile electrode was silver plated, made of a high stitch density weft knitted conductive fabric and its size was 20 mm × 40 mm. A flexible motion sensor circuit was designed and integrated within the textile electrode. Systematic measurements were performed, and results have shown that the hybrid textile electrode is capable of recording ECG and motion signals synchronously, and is suitable for ambulatory ECG measurement and motion tracking applications.
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