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Synchronized exercise module for correctly strengthening the human body.

Image credit: AI-generated images based on product description.

Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo Oct 09, 2022
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Considering the hard problem that could be exercise and even more complicated to achieve expected goals, imagine if it could be wear sort of measuring elastic bands engineered distribute on the body in a way that can be track the synchronized movements on the body as a whole and calculate the efficiency of the work done, such than the user can improve through its own feedback the posture, effort, breathing, etc.
The continuing growing demands for smart outfits in many fields, is taking fashion and the wearing industry further on material, comfort and usability. People that approach exercise face a huge difficulty in doing it right, so they commonly quit in the first weeks or months of practicing, just feeling pain on articulations, muscles, etc and not having a clear feedback of what they are doing. Some people could hire professional aid, personal trainers, but this product would be for the immense majority which train alone or in small groups (mostly always with the same level of knowledge on physical education, exercising, stretching and general maintenance of the human body as a whole). A complementary outfit that sends information to a cloud platform of the synchronized work done during exercising, such that the user can access value insight to its improvement.
Also it has been proven that exercise in a correct manner enhances health and this type of registering the work done during exercise can be used as proof for further business models in healthcare .
How it works
Imagine a NxM matrix information of an engineered net of points of the human body. Using something similar to elastic bands, with a low power bluetooth connection to phones can be registered the inertial information of each point of the desired model and send it to the platform for computational synthesis then forwarded to the user in a clean insight board, the selected topics like for example breathing, likeness to movements, moment of force, etc, or the required data that give value to the user in a way that continue perfectioning the exercise they are doing.
Because each elastic band will be recording and sending data, the design should consider multiplexing packages in order to only use as possible one bluetooth channel, so the user may continue using the phone through listening to music or other activities that require bluetooth devices. Also the system should be able to trace and learn enabled elastic bands, so the product may start with an initial package for example arms, forearms, thigh and calf, but can be extended to forehead, shoulders, ankles, and further needs creative contributions may find useful.
Breathing will be a complex measure, since you may inhale expanding the chest or body core, or even breath with few or no movement at all, just lungs tight expansion. So I would recommend that measuring breathing should be considered independently and it is appreciated any contributions that may come up on this subject.
Would you estimate the usability of this product and the impact it has on reducing quitting exercise because of lack of knowledge, and if it can be used as serious information for tracking performance on body maintenance.

[1]Povilas S, 2022, Interactive outfit elements to let others around you know when you're willing to talk, https://brainstorming.com/r/RbBzw7

[2]Patil P, Lalwani P, Vidwans H, Kulkarni S, Bais D, Diwekar-Joshi M, Rasal M, Bhasme N, Naik M, Batwal S, Watve M. 2021, A multidimensional functional fitness score has a stronger association with type 2 diabetes than obesity parameters in cross sectional data. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245093

[3]Shubhankar Kulkarni, 2022, Cashback on medical insurance for those who exercise regularly, https://brainstorming.com/r/2CTuHD

Creative contributions

Advantages and comparison with the existing technologies and a suggestion

J. Nikola
J. Nikola Oct 10, 2022
It's a great topic and an active field of innovation. We had a similar idea [1] before where you can find interesting comments and technologies. Since I am sure I would actively use it, I have one concern.
Would the module actively give you real-time advice once it "understands" the way you perform exercises or you would have to check the advice later in the app? Because there are some great apps powered by strong AIs that do the same thing, but with no equipment and with very user-friendly interfaces.
I have also one suggestion.
Would you be able to use it for therapeutic purposes? Quality therapies are often expensive, especially if you need them "right now". One could use this to track the progress of their tendons, bones or muscle recovery - which would be a new thing! In that context, however, you need healthcare professionals actively working on this.
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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo5 months ago
Thank you both for your contributions. Shubhankar Kulkarni I reviewed how the hexoskin module handles with detail the subject of measuring breathing. Definitely a module of this kind could be part of the overall solution. But we must recall this would be only a part of the input system. A very complex one indeed, but a part of a bigger solution, since the idea is looking for a solution on identifying body effort during exercise in a reliable way, such that a user has an feasible alternative to perfectionate exercise reducing quitting early because of the intrinsic difficulties of exercising.
Thank you J. Nikola for the session reference. I reviewed the idea and their further contributions. This is a different approach and from my point of view it faces a complicated thing which could be known to those who exercise with weights rather than with machines and it is the posture during exercise, timing on movements and breathing. For example taking care of elbows trajectory during shoulder exercise; to name only one.
The posture smart shirt could be an alternative to achieving a correct posture and similar technology could be an alternative with some dedicated improvements to comply with multi-axis inertia information and breathing measuring issues.
My first impression on those used with mirror technology or the Korean approach using the ir-kinect module is the blind spots and continuing tracking of displacement and force required during exercise. Take for example the introductory video of TEMPO product, even though the product will help to train and offer feedback, does the asian-like girl lifting weight at the beginning is having her hip too much to the front? Or is it a perspective impression?
The subject of not being in contact with the physical performance during exercise could sustain yet longer comments. So I will prefer to keep it up to here and use it as an introduction to conclude that:
  1. The proposed bands as Povilas S mention in the general comment, they should not displace (this is a product development requirement) in order to offer reliable information.
  2. To confirm on J. Nikola about real time collaboration, the bands could vibrate on feedback performance such that users may correct in real time. Bands collect and send info to the cloud through the phone, so the phone could have “local information” that could send as feedback to each band (the type of feedback could be addressed later to identify which could work better, like vibration, sound, light, combination of those, etc) to allow the user to try to correct. And here the subject of having mirrors would help, and if they can display information could be good too. But what if the person is training calisthenics in a park? Would be required that the product will give reliable feedback on how to correct. So yes, bands should offer feedback in real time, based on instantaneous sensor information but perfectioning in the mid term with data analysis run on the cloud.
The product on its own I believe could work for recreational purpose, to improve training on healthy people, but persons that needs exercise as a prescription and therapeutics activities for sure will use the product on a healthcare professional supervision, since not because understanding what the body should do, the mind is capable to submit muscles and articulations to conquer uncomfortability of being new to exercise.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni5 months ago
Marco Agudelo Have you heard of the Hexoskin smart shirts? It is a wearable fabric that monitors your vitals, sleep, and activity. They are one step closer to your idea. The Hexoskin shirts could be used to realize your idea of monitoring the activity of a person precisely. The Hexoskin already measures the activity intensity, peak acceleration, steps, cadence, and positions with a 3-axis accelerometer. The Hexosking technology could be modified to suit your idea.
J. Nikola On similar lines to what you are suggesting, the Hexoskin continuously measures respiratory ventilation using chest and abdominal respiratory inductance plethysmography sensors that collect breathing rate, minute ventilation, VO2max, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels. It acquires continuous ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, heart rate maximum, and resting heart rate data for stress monitoring, effort, load, and fatigue assessments, QRS events, heart rate zones, and heart rate recovery data. In a way, it collects therapeutic data. And the features that you suggested could be added to it. For example, there could be markers in the sweat that correspond to bone strength and quality. The Hexoskin could have sensors for them and measure their levels. Also check Astroskin.
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General comments

Povilas S
Povilas S5 months ago
You asked about the monitoring of breathing. Breathing is directly related to heart rate and heart rate variability, so the physiological breathing parameters could be calculated by monitoring the user’s heartbeat and converting the parameter values to breathing parameters. Breathing can also be monitored by using an elastic band, so in accordance with your idea, but from experience (I did my bachelor's thesis working with this) I can say that it’s not very reliable since the band may slip out of place and may have to be adjusted during the monitoring process. If you had elastic clothing instead of the band it might work better.
In spite of the inconvenience that I mentioned, the elastic band helps monitor breathing better than just having the heart rate parameters. It’s best to have both.
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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo5 months ago
Povilas S Definitely, I agree with you. My approach to recognize the difficulty it implies to measure breathing in a reliable way, was because of the multiple ways breath can be done; I’m sure it was a great experience doing a thesis on the subject. Understanding breathing and having insight of its performance could be a complicated task and that was why I suggested it should be measured independently. I took a look at Shubhankar Kulkarni contribution of the hexoskin and it seems a module of this type may handle the breathing measuring process.
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