A French-Danish consortium is developing a T-shirt with textile pressure sensors that will increase the comfort and effectiveness of spinal braces worn by teenagers suffering from scoliosis. Proteor SAS, the St. Apollinaire, France, maker of spinal braces, is collaborating with Texisense of Montceau les Mines, France, and Ohmatex ApS of Aarhus, Denmark, to improve the wearability and user experience for brace wearers and provide a revolutionary alternative to the ordinary treatment by spinal braces.
Their “emBrace” T-shirt will look and feel like a standard cotton T-shirt, but data provided by integrated Texisense fabric pressure sensors will enable braces to be fitted more accurately and allow daily monitoring of their effectiveness, offering 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.
Spinal scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, occurs in almost 2 percent of teenagers (mainly girls) and spinal brace treatment is required for 15 percent of those cases. In approximately 25 percent of cases, the braces fail to achieve the corrective effect if they are not worn as prescribed or if they are not fitted correctly.
The project ranked 10th out of 215 eligible applications to the European EuroStars program. The EuroStars program is designed to enable innovative SMEs to collaborate with key market players to commercialize new technologies. Seventy projects were chosen for funding in 2014.