Turkeys, desserts, food, fun, family – and a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at YD! I love how festivities bring us all together – be it good, bad, or ugly and even though we are to be in touch virtually this year, that won’t abate the cheer that spreads through our hearts while we recall the eventful family gatherings throughout the years (you know, we all have that ONE funny story about an uncle who enjoys his drink a bit too much). Among the list of things to be thankful for this year, I want to add one more, which is good health. Especially given the pandemic this year that has disrupted our normal on a scale we have never seen before, we need to be thankful for our health and for everyone in the medical field who is saving lives every day. While the near future looks promising with vaccines coming up, the devices or innovations we focus on over here are designed to help prevent a medical emergency or treat it at our earliest. Each of these designs not only reduces the load on the medical force but it keeps the patients feel more secure in the knowledge that they can accurately monitor their health, whatever comes their way
Literally, the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!
The Seattle-based cross-discipline design firm Teague collaborated with Nike to come up with the Athlete’s Plane that keeps athletes in top playing condition, even when they traverse three timezones to play a crucial away game. Specifically designed for a basketball team, the airborne facility has everything a player needs to be 100 percent mentally and physically fit to negate the “away disadvantage.” To extract the best performance out of players, when it matters, the quality of travel is important – for the team staff as well. To this end, Teague closely interviewed professional players, coaches, and operational staff to conceptualize this athlete-centric Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s interior.
While we can’t control accidents, we can be better prepared for them, and SCALED is a project from RCA aimed at doing exactly that – protecting and healing you to improve the quality of life to keep pace with longevity. This could be the next generation of casts that merge protection, healing, and mobility into one superhero-like wearable! Research shows that human joint injuries are often recurrent and likely to cause long-term immobility. Designer Natalie Kerres then looked at nature for inspiration to come up with a solution and zeroed down on animals that physically protected from threats by skin, shells, or scales. She wanted to design a product that mimicked the natural protection and healing while allowing flexibility – that is how SCALED was born. “The geometry of animal scales has changed through the process of evolution according to environmental parameters which are critical for survival. A scale structure is capable of impact force distribution and, moreover, is flexible in one direction and limiting/interlocking in another,” she explains.
Designers Chris Barnes and others at Cambridge Consultants of Cambridge, UK have designed a wearable health monitor for newborns in areas where current solutions are not easily available. Called ‘Little I’, their innovation empowers parents in low resource countries to monitor the health of their newborns by providing a low-cost, durable device that gives them assurance of their newborn’s survival despite lack of medical knowledge. This service is implemented by NGOs first buying and transporting the device to the community and teaching the workers how to use it. And in parallel, the mother/caregiver would hear about the device within the community and then later be provided one by a health care professional after giving birth. After 28 days, the device is returned which is then cleaned and recharged to be used by another newborn.
A band of Korean designers (Hong Seonghwan, Lee Hyungtaek, Lee Taekkyung & Song Yoojin) created the Median AMB, a special ambulance that can directly reach the point of the accident without getting affected by the traffic congestion created by the accident. The Median AMB sits on the road divider/median and drives up and down the highway almost like a monorail. It features sliding doors on both sides, seating for a driver and an assistant, and an area for a stretcher that holds the victim. The Median AMB drives down the dividers, right to the victim’s location, picks them up, and brings them to a proper ambulance that can take the victim to the nearest hospital.
Designed to help you get a more holistic view of your body, vitals, and internal organs, RaDoTech is a simple hand-held device that can, in a span of 5 minutes, help you perform a full-body scan to see how healthy you are on the inside. Bring it in contact with certain acupressure points on your body, and the RaDoTech reads electrical currents to judge the health of your internal organs. The clinically tested results are sent to your phone, allowing you to see how each individual organ is performing, giving you an accurate health reading, along with personal, actionable insights to help you live better.
While it is mainly a problem to get children to swallow tablets, I know many adults too who will go to any lengths to swap their tablets with syrup. This water-free medicine jelly is a life savior for many! Not only does this medicine design make swallowing easier, but it also addresses the larger problem of access to clean water in poorer countries. Since drinking water is a problem, even if medicines are available, it is harmful to people to be taking them with contaminated water. This innovative jelly medicine is created to be water-free so people don’t have to pick between curing themselves or adding on to existing health risks. The jelly is the same size as a sip of water so the patient won’t need to drink anything when taking the medicine. “Poor hygiene and poor water quality are causes of many diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever. When taking medicine in such conditions, there is a risk of acquiring additional illness if the medication is taken with unsanitary water. Jelly medicine eliminates this hygienic problem because it can be easily swallowed without water,” says the designer.
The concept behind the Pimoji by Jong Hun Choi tackles the two biggest problems of taking meds. Firstly, the ambiguity, given that almost all medicines look the same and their names are usually a complicated bunch of characters that often don’t convey anything, and secondly, the fact that the very act of taking medicines feels slightly daunting, and can often seem scary to most. The Pimoji’s solution to both those problems is simple, and between you and me, pretty innovative! Design each pill around an emoji-esque representation of the ailment they’re trying to cure. Heart meds are shaped like hearts, bone-strengthening meds are shaped like bones, toothache tablets are shaped like teeth, and the list goes on!
When sinus hits, we are willing to do anything to breathe normally again. It doesn’t just cause pain in the nose but also your head, temples, and even teeth! ClearUp (FDA approved) was designed to help alleviate the discomfort and provide a long-term solution instead of taking pills every time the season changes. It emits gently microcurrent waves when you glide the gadget over the affected area to reduce the pain and keep it all clear for up to 6 hours. This is especially beneficial if you deal with chronic rhinitis or year-long allergies which means a lot of medication that you can now get rid of. ClearUp’s study shows that 72% of the users got relief after using the device and 82% preferred it over medicines. It also eliminates the hassle of constantly having to clean or sterilize nasal sprays etc.
With as many as 6 patents (and 9 pending ones), Intake turns mouth-breathers into nose-breathers. Unlike those nose-strips that promise to work but fail to deliver on most accounts, Intake has a pretty straight-forward way of widening your nasal passages. Intake’s nose-breathing solution relies on two simple steps. Intake’s kits provide adhesive-strips with magnets on them that fasten to each side of your nose, right above the nostrils. A precursory alcohol-wipe makes sure the skin around your nose is free of dirt, dead skin-cells, or skin-oils that would cause the magnetic strips to fall off. The next step is fastening Intake’s nasal bridge across your nose. The relatively rigid bridge attracts the magnets towards it, pulling gently on your nostrils to widen them. With wider nasal pathways, it’s much easier to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth. Intake’s design solution is non-invasive, discreet, and works even through the sweatiest of workouts (and even in the rain)!
Check out more innovative and revolutionary medical innovations with more posts of this series!