Wearable Breathing Trainer

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 project was on display at the Dutch Design Week Design United exhibition 2019:

This project was supported by the Pioneers in Healthcare Innovation fund in 2018. We are currently collaborating with Saxion and other partners in a RAAK MKB project (2022 - 2023). Aim of the project is to professionalize the prototype and work on embedding of the system in the care process.