HEXPOL TPE, the international polymer compounding group, recently collaborated with Ichó Systems GmbH, a company bringing a modern approach to interactive therapy and systems for people with cognitive diseases.
Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic therapy; all the senses are stimulated and activated. ichó is a therapy ball for young and old; it was developed to promote cognitive and motor skills in a playful way. Depending on the application, Ichó can react with coloured lights, vibrations, sound or music. The reactions are individually adaptable to the needs of the user.
Current application areas include people with dementia and children, with a special focus on learning for people with autism.
The ichó therapy ball is constructed from an injection moulded outer skin which houses the lights, speaker, sensors and electronics. Mediprene TPE was selected due to its soft-touch haptics and good light permeability. The material also needs to be easily cleaned. Mediprene TPEs are resistant to the most common cleaning fluids used in the healthcare environment.
As a medical product, the ichó therapy ball has been specially developed for use in a medical context; therefore, a medical-grade material was required. Representative Mediprene TPE materials have been tested for cytotoxicity according to ISO 10993-5 and for biocompatibility according to ISO 10993-10 (Intracutaneous Reactivity)/-11 (Acute Systemic Toxicity) and USP Class VI.
Mediprene materials are latex-free, which reduces the risk of allergic reactions. In accordance with ISO 10993 – 10 ‘Tests for Sensitisation and Irritation,’ a representative Mediprene compound was shown to have no sensitisation potential and classified as a non-sensitiser.
“We chose HEXPOL TPE for two reasons – material and service!” explained Samantha Scharf, marketing & distribution at icho systems.
“Service is one of the top priorities for us, and that’s how we live with our customers. It was important to us to work with medical material, and we had the relevant prerequisites here. We were given in-depth information about material options right from the first contact. There was also a quick and good answer to further inquiries.
“In addition to HEXPOL’s own product portfolio, the advice was always good and fast, so that the time to final production could be kept very short.”
Guido Heinen, key account manager-medical, HEXPOL TPE, added, “We are very proud to work with the team at icho systems on this project. They are helping to improve people’s lives and wellbeing; this fits with our aim to create materials that make a real difference.”
Since the ichó therapy ball was launched, it has already gathered an impressive list of awards in Germany and Europe for its novel design and social impact.