A new T-shirt with textile pressure sensors will increase the comfort and effectiveness of spinal braces worn by teenagers suffering from scoliosis, according to Ohmatex, a leading smart textiles technology company. The product is being developed by a leading French-Danish consortium.
Spinal scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) occurs in almost 2% of teenagers, mainly girls. The spinal brace treatment is required for 15% of cases.
However, in approximately 25% of cases the braces fail to achieve the corrective effect, if they are not worn as prescribed, or if they are not fitted correctly due to errors at the design stage.
Braces that are ill-fitted are uncomfortable to wear, and there is currently no feedback on how effective the braces are when they are being worn. Both factors can reduce teenagers’ motivation to wear them, the company believes.
Proteor SAS, the market leader in France for spinal brace manufacturing and distribution, is collaborating with SMEs Texisense and Ohmatex to improve the wearability and user experience for brace wearers and provide an alternative to the ordinary treatment by spinal braces.
emBrace t-shirts will look and feel like a standard cotton t-shirt but the data provided by the integrated Texisense fabric pressure sensors will enable braces to be fitted more accurately from the outset and allow daily monitoring of the braces’ effectiveness.
Increased comfort and daily monitoring has the potential to improve the compliance of teenagers, give valuable insight into the effectiveness of the treatment and increase the chances of spinal curvature correction, Ohmatex reports.
Innovative and successful
The project was successfully submitted to the European EuroStars programme with the help of the French consultancy firm Dynergie and was ranked 10th out of 215 eligible applications.
The EuroStars programme is designed to enable innovative SMEs to collaborate with key market players to commercialise new technologies. In 2014, 70 projects were chosen for funding.
The combination of Texisense’s fabric pressure sensors, Ohmatex’s expertise in textile connection technology and Proteor’s specialist knowledge and sales network, is expected to result in a new ready-for-market innovation not currently provided by any other spinal brace manufacturer.
The brand new textile was invented and introduced recently by a leading French-Danish consortium. The main peculiarity of this textile is the positive effect it can make on the mans spine and bearing. The main purpose of this fabric is to be combined with the special tools, which main purpose is to correct bearing and help people, suffering from the scoliosis. The effect can be achieved with the help of its unique structure.
The fabric presents itself one of these smart textiles, which have been developed with the use of new technologies and they can add some new abilities to the wearer. The unique property of that textile is that it has the properties, which are very useful for people and which other textiles do not have. The designers of this fabric decided to inculcate some textile pressure sensors for the fabric can fix the smallest oscillations in its showings.
It is done with the purpose to increase the efficiency of spinal braces, worn by men suffering from the spine deceases. The principle of its functioning will be very simple. T-shirts, made from this new smart fabric, should be worn in the combination with spinal brace.
Textile pressure sensors, implanted in the material, will guarantee daily monitoring of the showings and the ability to control the efficiency of this tool. The main reason for spinal brace being ineffective is it being uncomfortable. Brand new textile can change this fact by providing the new level of comfort, achieved by more accurate wearing of the brace. The new smart textile will be able to change the state of the spinal problems treatment and become widespread.
The invention of the brand new type of the textile gives the wide potential for its usage. It impresses me with the great opportunities this invention gives, because the great number of things in our life can be improved with the help of this textile. The inventors propose its usage in the field of healthcare, however there are many other ways to use it.
The first possible is in the field of flights, whether military or civil, in the atmosphere or in the space. Great overpressure, which pilots feel, is a well known fact. Overpressure may become so high that it will be dangerous for the pilots or passengers.
That is why the clothes, made from the smart textile, with implanted pressure sensors, can help to monitor the showings and give some signal when they achieve some dangerous level. The clothes made from this fabric should be given to the pilots or astronauts in order to reduce danger, which threatens them.
Another possible way of its usage can be found it the field of security. Each well known machine building company makes the crash tests of new automobiles in order to get to know about the level of their safety. The great number of sensors, which help to fix the showings, is fastened to the manikin.
However, the designing of the special clothes for the manikins, which are made from this textile, will make the life easier – no more sensors should be placed on the dummy. The only thing to do is to dress him in the new clothes and all showings will be fixed by the sensors in it.
There are only two ways of its usage, however it is very interesting issue to investigate and much more ways can be suggested. The products, made from this textile, can be presented in the market of uniform, special clothing, security devices and so on. It is only the matter of the imagination and creativity.