We developed an ECG T-shirt with a portable recorder for unobtrusive and long-term multichannel ECG monitoring with active electrodes. A major drawback of conventional 12-lead ECGs is the use of adhesive gel electrodes, which are uncomfortable during long-term application and may even cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. Therefore, we integrated comfortable patches of conductive textile into the ECG T-shirt in order to replace the adhesive gel electrodes. In order to prevent signal deterioration, as reported for other textile ECG systems, we attached active circuits on the outside of the T-shirt to further improve the signal quality of the dry electrodes. Finally, we validated the ECG T-shirt against a commercial Holter ECG with healthy volunteers during phases of lying down, sitting, and walking. The 12-lead ECG was successfully recorded with a resulting mean relative error of the RR intervals of 0.96% and mean coverage of 96.6%. Furthermore, the ECG waves of the 12 leads were analyzed separately and showed high accordance. The P-wave had a correlation of 0.703 for walking subjects, while the T-wave demonstrated lower correlations for all three scenarios (lying: 0.817, sitting: 0.710, walking: 0.403). The other correlations for the P, Q, R, and S-waves were all higher than 0.9. This work demonstrates that our ECG T-shirt is suitable for 12-lead ECG recordings while providing a higher level of comfort compared with a commercial Holter ECG.
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