Further features are planned: In addition to fall detection and an emergency alert, the T-shirt will be able to read health factors such as cardiac arrhythmias. Also in planning are additional sensors that can detect when the wearer approaches high-voltage electrical lines.
Deadlines, heavy workloads and constant pressure: Germans are under a great deal of stress. And our jobs are the number 1 stress factor in our lives. This not only affects employee satisfaction – in many cases stress can even be dangerous.
Now innogy Health Guard is here to help. Whether for construction workers, building site managers or office workers, the smart work shirt warns employees of stressful situations, preventing work accidents and long-term health risks.
The digital shirt that protects your health
What exactly is innogy Health Guard?
innogy Health Guard belongs to the category of smart clothing but goes beyond fitness trackers and similar accessories: Through a combination of wearable technology and artificial intelligence, the smart T-shirt recognises when the wearer is facing potentially stressful or dangerous situations and derives corresponding safety advice. To do so, the shirt measures the wearer’s vital signs in real time and detects for example when he or she is caught up in an extremely tense situation.
What is smart clothing?
Garments equipped with electronic features are known as smart clothing. The high-tech clothing with integrated digital units is regarded as a further development of the wearables. The latter comprise all tech-tools that are worn directly on the body. Well-known wearables are for example fitness trackers.
Who is innogy Health Guard designed for?
The T-shirt is particularly useful as a work garment for employees who regularly find themselves in hazardous situations in their jobs. In the energy sector, for example, these might be people who work with high voltage or as construction workers at extreme heights. innogy Health Guard can prevent accidents caused by stress or a high-pressure environment through warning signals and safety advice.
innogy has been using the high-tech shirt since the end of 2017. The pilot phase with 50 employees at Westnetz is to be gradually extended so that further features can be tested.
What argument could be more convincing than that employees wearing innogy Health Guard feel safer and can work more safely? Particularly companies in the energy, transport and production sectors have long since put the topic of occupational safety at the top on their agendas.
Attention paid to occupational safety and health always has a positive impact on a company’s image. If a company is dedicated to taking care of its employees, it will automatically be a more attractive employer. What’s more, people who feel safe at work make satisfied and productive employees.
Accidents at work and stress-related employee absences cost companies billions every year. innogy Health Guard is able to reduce absenteeism figures in the extreme.
innogy Health Guard attaches high importance to the issue of data protection. Employee data is only exchanged in encrypted form with a German cloud (MS Azure) that processes the data in pseudonymous form via AI algorithms. Employees are the only ones who have access to their personal data and the power to decide with whom it will be shared.
The technology behind the shirt
The TechUnit is the brain of the T-shirt – it’s what makes innogy Health Guard smart. The TechUnit stores the measured data and transmits it via Bluetooth to the app.
The Health Guard app
It shows vital signs and health data in real time. Employees can thus track their physical condition from minute to minute. Recommendations for action and safety advice are also integrated into the app.
Example: The sensors in the T-shirt detect an acute high stress level in the wearer. The app then issues a warning and at the same time some advice on how to deal with the situation. It might advise the employee to take three deep breaths before resuming work.
An intelligent shirt like Health Guard is certainly not part of innogy’s core business. But as a development project I see it as an example of how we can make digitalisation our own.