Intelligent Scoliosis Brace project

Principal Investigator Parisa Gazerani

PhD students Under recruitment

Collaborators Marianne Bakke Johnsen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Nenad Pavel (Oslo Metropolitan University), Minna Pikkarainen (Oslo Metropolitan University), other partners from CIM, ADEPT, the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Health Technology (the orthopedic engineering group), other collaborators (not yet confirmed), Youwell (Øyvind Grimsgaard), Users (Mette Fløystad Kvammen), Sophies Minde Ortopedi (3D braces), Rikshospitalet, OUH (patients)

In this project, we will design prototypes of an intelligent garment that can cover the scoliosis brace or be worn as a vest underneath it, and pilot test it to see if it can collect biometric data from users to enhance the monitoring of the users who wear the brace for conservative treatment of AIS (Adolescence Idiopathic Scoliosis). This concept has been discussed but not yet proven. Therefore, in this project, we will offer a solution by designing an intelligent personalized piece with wearable sensors that wirelessly communicate with an easy-to-use application (App) on smart devices to enhance the engagement of users, improve treatment, and provide continuous monitoring of scoliosis and treatment progress in adolescents. The sensors are either located in the smart cover, underneath the brace vest, or both. We will use smart e-textiles or soft electronics that are designed for this purpose. We propose that braces with a monitoring cover or underneath vest (smart cover made from e-textile) can result in better use and satisfaction. Various outcome measures are considered including but not limited to: monitoring and measures of pain, sleep, respiration, fatigue, muscle pressure, movements, etc. We hypothesize that designing such an intelligent or smart corset cover or vest can be used for conservative treatment of AIS and can make it possible to monitor the body when it is worn and reflect on functional progress during the course of treatment, both with and without the brace, during rest, and during exercise. The monitoring of the body allows customized treatment by therapists and direct feedback via the app that can be monitored by the users (or parents, caregivers). This consequently is expected to dramatically enhance patient satisfaction and compliance or adherence to treatments. Biometric parameters and subjective data will hopefully be useful and can guide the optimal brace treatment. For example, lowered muscle activity, muscle fatigue, and muscle pain can result in the reduction of brace use. This possibility can improve treatment plans for example to guide an optimal time for corset/exercise or physiotherapy. It is expected that monitoring and identification of suboptimal use will guide where the problem originated from and how to resolve it. Patient compliance and user satisfaction will potentially be improved by app and engagements. This project has no or minimal risks but offers benefits. Connectable sensors in the e-textile are approved and safe to wirelessly communicate with the mobile device. Enhancing the standard treatment by introducing a new possibility of remote monitoring and collection of biometric and subjective data to advance therapy and compliance. We are trying to introduce an upward shift in the brace treatment but no change in the treatment course and standard guidelines in AIS treatments with the brace itself.