Pioneers in Healthcare Voucher for Wearable Breathing Trainer

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 18.13.41The Pioneers in Health Care (PIHC) Innovation Fund (a joint fund by UT, MST, ZGT, Deventer Ziekenhuis, Saxion and Menzis) aims at faster introduction of innovative technology in clinical practice by bottom-up collaboration between the world of new technology and medical practice. On December 11, we received a voucher of 70.000 euro from this fund for the further development of a Wearable Breathing Trainer for children with respiratory problems.

Respiratory disorders such as asthma and dysfunctional breathing (DB) are common in childhood. Exercise challenge tests can assess both the asthmatic and DB component of symptoms. However, exercise tests are hospital-based and expensive. Analysis of respiratory symptoms and assessment of efficacy of therapy in the home environment could provide the paediatrician and child an objective tool to acquire relevant data. We will study how a Wearable Breathing Trainer can signal respiratory parameters, detect and analyze respiratory disorders and provide real-time feedback to the child. The Wearable Breathing Trainer uses sensors and robotic textile and will be designed to support self-management. This project is a continuation of our Textile Reflexes project that created a first prototype of a posture correction vest. A first prototype of the Wearable Breathing Trainer was developed supported by a fund from the Innovatiefonds Creatieve Industrie awarded to Hellen van Rees. Lara Siering made a first design for the interaction with the Wearable Breathing Trainer during her bachelor final project.

This project moves care closer to home by connecting (wearable) electronics to healthcare professionals (e-health). This more general development is relevant for the target group:in the standard current care, children with dysfunctional breathing interact regularly with healthcare professionals in hospitals and labs. Moving care ( in this case monitoring and coaching of breathing) will benefit this target group and will invite them to regularly train with confidence while having fun.

The partners for the PIHC project are:

  • Boony Thio & Pascal Keijzer, paediatrics, MST.
  • Eliza Bottenberg & Carlos Kuhlmann, Smart Functional Materials, Saxion.
  • Geke Ludden & Lara Siering, Interaction Design, UT
  • Angelika Mader, Human Media Interaction, UT
  • Jean Driessen, sports medicine, ZGT
  • Hellen van Rees, MA, textile and fashion designer.