Design Council promotes independent living with medical tech competition

The organisation has collaborated with MedCity to develop MedTechSouthEast: a competition to create design-led health products for those with medical conditions and disabilities.

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The Design Council has launched a project that aims to help those with medical conditions live more independently.

In collaboration with medical research scheme MedCity, the organisation has opened MedTechSouthEast: a competition that will offer medical tech entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with designers to develop health products.

“Imaginative, user-friendly” solutions

Dr Eliot Forster, executive chair at MedCity, says: “Good design is fundamental in creating a product that people want to use. It demands that companies look at challenges from a user’s point of view and come up with imaginative, practical and user-friendly solutions.”

Design and medtech professionals will judge entries and will select 15 finalists to present their technologies to industry leaders and investors. The 10 winning applicants will go on to develop their product in a two-day workshop, before taking on a 10-week coaching programme.

“Market-ready” products

The course aims to help develop “effective, usable and commercially successful” health technologies that are “market-ready”, says the Design Council.

It is open to individuals and teams from the South East of England, who have concepts for technologies based on independent living.

The concepts must be non-invasive and user-centred to qualify. Potential products include memory aids for those with dementia, assistive technologies, such as for turning on lights, cooking meals or answering the door, and alarm systems.

Help people live independently

The competition aims to create design-led medical products that will enable older people and those with debilitating medical conditions to “live more autonomously”, says John Mathers, chief executive at Design Council.

“MedTechSouthEast will promote the delivery of user-centred medtech, which could revolutionise people’s lives and also help save money for our public services,” he says.

Healthcare company AXA PPP has supported the programme, and the ten successful applicants will also be entered into health technology innovation competition AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards 2016.

Design Council completed Living Well with Dementia in 2009, a similar scheme looking at solutions for independent living.

MedTechSouthEast is now open for entries, and will close on 23 October. For more information, see the Design Council website.

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