Paul Ackermann, Orthopedic surgeon and Senior lecturer, Orthopedics, MMK and Robin Juthberg, PhD-student and MD, Orthopedics, MMK are looking at new innovative ways to address the ever growing problem of muscle inactivity.
Paul Ackermann is receiving support from KI Innovations START team and we asked him a few questions about the journey and learnings so far and the future plans for the project.
Provide a short summary of the project that you intend to create impact from.
The purpose of this project is to address the globally growing problem of increased physical inactivity. Muscle inactivity leads to major medical disorders and related financial burdens on health care due to eg. muscle wasting, metabolic disorders, impaired blood flow, increased risk of blood clots and shortened life span.
The goal of this project is to develop ”smart” clothing that can detect prolonged periods of muscle inactivity and, based on this information, automatically begin an intelligent stimulation of muscle activity in order to prevent a number of different medical disorders.
Who is the future user of the product that you aim to develop and what impact do you foresee that your invention could have?
The effects that may be expected from the smart clothing will be implemented in healthcare in all immobilized and bedridden patients as well as in home care of patients and persons, which live a sedentary life. The usage of the smart clothing will be able to counteract several medical disorders related to a sedentary lifestyle.
What is the current status of your project from an impact creation / commercialization point of view?
Patents is being applied for. Currently, a deeper understanding of different parts of the project are analyzed through a Vinnova-funded project (MedTech4Health), which is designed as a collaboration between 4 parties with expertise in various relevant development fields; healthcare (Karolinska Sjukhuset, KS), electronics (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan), textiles (Textilhögskolan Borås) and industry (Bola AB).
What steps have you taken towards impact creation and commercialization?
A market analysis has been performed, which demonstrates possibilities of huge savings within health care from usage of the product. Moreover, not only health care but also over the counter customers have been identified as a huge market for the product.
What are your key learnings so far in relation to impact creation / commercialization?
It is a trial and error process that goes in several directions before the essential pieces of information/ technology goes in the right direction.