The face-to-face award presentation had to be cancelled though this year but that did not stop innovations from being put on the market and this is why FIBO presented six of its exhibitors with the annual FIBO INNOVATION & TREND Award in April. In this series we introduce the award winners to you. Winner in the Health & Prevention category is schwa-medico GmbH with its Symbiont, a unique smart-body concept for visible and tangible results in EMS training.
“Symbiont allows EMS training to be linked with capturing numerous bio-physiological data. This clearly optimises the control and supervision of exercises in EMS training and, hence, increases efficiency and effectiveness in a verifiable and proven ways,” says the international expert jury of the FIBO INNOVATION & TREND Award 2020, adding: “At the same time this tool can also be used independently of EMS training, for capturing body data in other training situations – it can also be used as an evaluation tool in power training, for example.”
The idea: combining real-time training data with a (electro-) stimulation training Dominic Heilig, Head of Sales for Symbiont at schwa-medico GmbH, explains: “The Symbiont development was really a team effort.” And Jonas Peinze, Head of Product Development, adds: “Our brief read: How can we revolutionise the combination of training and therapy? Various health experts already had similar visions before. Each form of muscle activity and physical stress was to be made measurable. We wanted to develop a system with the reliability and validity of a medical device. And every treatment and training requirement was to be incorporated if possible.” Heilig goes on to say: “In summary, we wanted to make training, health and success measurable in real time and analysable independent of the location.” All parties involved – from the user and the trainer to the therapist – were to be given the highest degree of effectiveness, freedom, and sustainability.”
The implementation: Wireless technology for easy handling and the biggest variability possible By Jona Peinze’s accounts, guaranteeing functionality and highest user-friendliness were paramount in the development of Symbiont: “The challenges here definitely included to optimise the known EMS technology in line with the latest scientific findings and to connect it with highly complex analysis technologies. The other challenge was to combine low- and medium-frequency electro-myo stimulation modes as well as to illustrate complex medical findings and results thereby making them comprehensible to every user – also those without any medical knowledge.” “The Symbiont Suit was also designed to be as easy to handle as possible thanks to an optimised fit and built-in sensors and dry electrodes,” explains Dominic Heilig.
The details: Comparing subjective load perception and objectively measured values in real time during training Symbiont consists of the control unit, the Symbiont App and the Suit. The control unit is located in the back of the Suit and forms the backbone of the product. It activates the complete range of functionalities defined by the manufacturer with the three key terms “Track, Train, Transform”. The values measured by the Suit such as pulse, heart rate variability, EMG, movement sensorics and body composition are accessed in real time by the Symbiont App. In this way the individual’s development can be documented and controlled optimally. Symbiont supports any form of conventional (work-out) activities as well as EMS training. Targeted results, therapy progress and data can be shared in any format upon the user’s demand. The connection to physicians, therapists, trainers, coaches, team members or the social community is established at the press of a button.
The question of costs: A certified medical product with a variety of possible uses “Symbiont has been on the market since the beginning of 2020 and is offered for purchase, leasing or rent to such service providers as fitness clubs, health centres or physiotherapists,” says Dominic Heilig and goes on to say: “In future, there will be other exploitation models. Furthermore, a connection of various training types and systems will make it possible to establish a link to the health care system and sickness funds.” According to Heilig sustainability also plays a prominent role: “We take back products, re-work them accordingly or recycle them. Furthermore, it is possible to use permanent lease schemes thereby creating a circular economy.”
The future: Science rather than fiction “With Symbiont we want users to understand, influence and develop their physical performance and the associated parameters even better. The understanding of their own bodies is to increasingly improve. This allows every individual to address specific areas and objectives,” explains Jonas Peinze. By introducing Symbiont schwa-medico wants to make health and performance calculable and reproducible and become a permanent companion in everyday life in the long term.