A new invention by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has been tipped to revolutionise the UK healthcare industry.
The researchers have developed new electromagnetic wave sensors that can be woven into any garment as a way to continually monitor a patient's vital signs.
The smart sensor technology, which has now been patented, allows you to continually monitor patients' vital signs, such as their heart rate, blood oxygen levels and temperature without having to wire them up to a machine.
Invisible, and undetectable to the wearer, these non-invasive sensors are sensitive enough to pick up a wide range of vital signs and can transmit these readings in real time to devices located many metres away.
Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger said: "This new technology demonstrates the importance of collaboration, and the wealth of knowledge transfer taking place, between our world class Universities and UK companies.
"The history of patents is a great way to understand the UK's inventive spirit and how our industry has developed. From the introduction of the steam locomotive in the 1800s, to TV in the early 1900s, new ideas have changed the way we go about our daily lives and patents provide a great history of our entrepreneurial spirit and industrial development.
"As Minister for Intellectual Property, I am pleased to mark this momentous occasion today and look forward to seeing some of the other inventions from the 22,000 patent applications the IPO review and process every year."
Speaking about his invention, LJMU professor Ahmed Al-Shamma'a said: "While we are still in the early stages of development, the range of potential applications for this wearable sensor technology is immense, not just in the health care sector but also in sporting and military applications.
"The traditional hospital identity bracelet, for example, could eventually be adapted to include this sensor technology. Garments could also be developed for people with dementia living in the community, giving care workers a non-invasive way of monitoring their health and wellbeing.
"Ultimately, whether worn in the hospital or at home, this technology could represent significant potential cost saving advantages for the NHS and could also improve patient care."