The Design Council has revealed the winners of a competition to create products that aim to help those with medical conditions.
MedTechSouthEast is a collaboration between the Design Council and healthcare tech company MedCity, and aims to bring products that encourage independent living to market.
The 10 winning prototype companies include Evolvable Walking Aid Kit, a bespoke package that allows people to build their own walking aid; Path Finder, shoes that use laser and sensor technology to improve walking for people with Parkinson’s; and Integro Smart Box, an alert system helping carers and family recognise when a person needs to take their medication.
Other winning products include a glove that steadies the hand of people with Parkinson’s disease; a spray-on medication to reduce arthritis pain and inflammation; a plug-and-socket for people with poor grip; underwear for women following childbirth; an online tool to help manage older people’s health conditions; a television video-calling system for older people; and a fixed-dose medicine dispenser.
Collaborating tech and design
Roger Highfield, director of external affairs at the Science Museum, led the judging panel.
John Mathers, chief executive at the Design Council, says: “Technology can be a vital tool in retaining our quality of life as we get older.”
He adds: “We need to increase the convergence of tech and design to create usable, accessible, human-centred devices and systems that will help us all retain our quality of life as we age.”
Pauline Shakespeare, programme manager on the project, adds: “The collaboration between design and medical technology can have an impact and reach that is greater than the sum of its parts.
“As our population ages and our overall dependency on the state for clinical healthcare decreases, we need more and more to translate advances in technology into consumer-focused devices and systems which allow us to live independently, monitor our wellbeing, and motivate us to manage our health more effectively,” she says.
The winners will take part in a mentoring programme led by the Design Council and medical-tech professionals, which aims to teach them how to develop their products and bring them to market, says the Design council.
They will also be entered into the Independent Living Award category as part of AXA PPP healthcare’s award programme, the Health Tech & You Awards 2016.