TheraTex final symposium

The TheraTex Final Symposium took place on 11.11.2022 at the Kunsthalle of the kunsthochschule weißensee berlin. As part of the research project, an interdisciplinary consortium developed an intelligent e-textile system to support people with hemiparesis. The researchers presented the results of their work in several lectures.

The series of lectures was moderated by Ms Ewelina Dobralski from the design office A+C.
First, Dr Danckwerth and Fabian Neumüller explained the user-centred approach as well as the work on textiles and hardware, which was mainly worked on by the khb as part of the project. In close cooperation with the cooperating clinic Medical Park, the requirements for the garments were determined by interviewing doctors and patients. Concepts for putting on the textiles with one hand were developed and tested in evaluations together with those affected. The “loop jacket”, which was created in cooperation with StrickZella, and the “kimono” were on display at the exhibition. The “Schlaufenjacke” enables an innovative method of dressing through its cut. The “Kimono” represents a solution that mediates between a wide and easy to put on garment and the specific requirements of close-fitting sensors. In addition, a specially developed donning aid was presented. This robotic device replaces the assistance of a second person and, with the help of ergonomic buttons, holds the garment in position while putting it on, brings it to the desired height and releases it when needed.

In other presentations, Kamil Garbacz from the TU Berlin reported on the selection of sensors for recording body movements, their programming and data transmission. Both IMU sensors and dielectric elastomer sensors were used, which were developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer ISC. The focus was also on the modular construction of a modular cable system whose structure was developed with khb. Dr. Betz from StrickZella also reported on the close cooperation of all partners in researching the textile integration of electrical conductors in the knit of the “Schlaufenjacke”.

Jing He from A+C then explained the feedback of the garments, which uses sound and vibration to motivate users to move their impaired side according to their individual needs, to remind them or to be used for modern therapy exercises. For the latter, the exercises “barrel organ” and the “interactive radio play” were presented.

Finally, live demonstrations of garments and components showcased the results of the research consortium.
The concluding panel discussion was a highlight of the symposium. This dealt with e-textiles in general and their field of application in the medical sector in particular. Experts discussed the potentials and challenges of e-textiles in the medical context and exchanged their findings.

The TheraTex final symposium provided a valuable platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of e-textiles to support people with hemiparesis. The research results presented showed innovative approaches and solutions that could improve the daily life and rehabilitation of people with hemiparesis and the quality of life of an ageing population in general.