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Revolutionising Physiotherapy with Interactive Digital Fabrics

Image credits: canterbury.ac.nz
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Dr Aluna Everitt, a Computer Science and Software Engineering Lecturer at the University of Canterbury (UC), has emerged as a trailblazer in technological innovation. Her pioneering work has centred around creating revolutionary interactive surfaces endowed with extraordinary and distinct attributes. These surfaces exhibit a fusion of stretchability and integrated sensing capabilities. This fusion replicates the inherent properties of the fabric, a feat that underscores the ingenuity of her research.

The genesis of this groundbreaking prototype can be traced back to Dr Everitt’s research sojourn at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. During this transformative period, the initial seeds of her visionary idea were sown, ultimately culminating in the development of a prototype that defies conventional boundaries in technology. Her journey has been characterised by an unyielding commitment to pushing the boundaries of what technology can achieve.

Dr Everitt’s vision extends beyond conventional digital wearables as she seeks to redefine the design and construction principles underlying such devices. Her ultimate goal is to fashion a wearable device that seamlessly integrates with the human body and clothing, exploring practical, real-world applications that involve monitoring and tracking our body’s intricate movements and flexibility.

Dr Aluna Everitt envisioned a groundbreaking solution for individuals undergoing physiotherapy, a domain where maintaining precise exercise form after leaving the clinic can be challenging. The innovative device she has developed, constructed using a desktop multi-material 3D printer, boasts a dynamic material composed of interconnected 3D printed tiles.

Its intrinsic interactive capabilities, seamlessly integrated during printing, set this material apart. Within this digital fabric, electronic components, intricately connected by conductive thread, respond dynamically to the body’s contours and movements, offering a high degree of customisation tailored to individual requirements.

Moreover, the versatility of these digital fabric materials extends to their integration into clothing, such as knee straps. Incorporating small LED lights with battery-powered functionality, these fabric-based accessories illuminate when detecting the correct angle and optimal skin contact.

Her future endeavours are poised to introduce a transformative dimension to physiotherapy and healthcare. Her visionary pursuit involves harnessing the potential of “haptic feedback,” a groundbreaking concept that relies on generating subtle vibrations by miniature motor discs ingeniously embedded within specialised materials.

This pioneering approach holds immense promise in healthcare by substantially improving exercise compliance. It empowers individuals to engage in their physiotherapy routines with a level of precision and confidence previously unattainable, even in the absence of direct supervision.

This innovative methodology circumvents the need for intricate and costly tools and components, paving the way for a more inclusive technological landscape. Collaborating with partners like Alexander Keith Eady and Professor Audrey Girouard at Carleton University, Dr Everitt’s trailblazing efforts culminated in developing her groundbreaking prototype device. This milestone represents a significant stride toward her overarching vision of making advanced technology readily available and user-friendly.

Dr Everitt’s profound mission extends beyond technological innovation; it is a concerted effort to dismantle barriers to progress, foster inclusivity, and catalyse a paradigm shift in the design and implementation of emerging technologies for the more significant benefit of society.

Her aspirations point to a future where technology and healthcare seamlessly converge, ushering in a new era of personalised, effective, and universally accessible physiotherapy support.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.