Making fractures fun and easy for kids
To design a better healing process for young kids with fractures making it playful for him/her and painless for the caregivers.
A playful connected device that syncs the cast to the caregiver’s mobile phone
This was a classroom project done to understand the design process in its essence. The output was expected to be exploratory and not restricted to technical feasibility or commercial viability. An explore and filter process was followed at each and every stage.
I found kids getting fractured a very unique problem as it seemed a little ironic in its own funny way, as explained in the above infographic. Hence I thought if there is some better way of improving this healing process.
I did some secondary research to understand how 3d printing is revolutionising the fracture casts. But when I asked doctors about the same, they still prefer the old ways of a PoP cast as it guarantees slow but steady and effective healing. Also the manufacturing difficulties in a 3d printed cast are too many to be solved right away.
I then moved on to understand how a Plaster of Paris cast is put and the entire process of a kid coming to a hospital, the panic as well as how the Doctor’s go about the diagnosis.
I have listed the findings below:
- ‘Product’ related problems
- ‘Environment’ related problems
Research & Analysis
While having the cast, its extremely important for the kid to keep his hand stable. For his/her the parents have to constantly monitor the kid. The scenario is such that, in case a refall happens during this critical time, there arises a need for surgery. In spite of all these precautions there are 10-15% refall cases on an average.
Hence i arrived to my design brief that would introduce a feedback mechanism with the cast for better and efficient monitoring of the fracture.
To design a better healing process for a young kid with a fracture making it playful for him/her and painless for the caregivers.
- Mainly visual elements
- Simple and natural interactions
- Hand fractures only
‘Xico’ comes with a wrist band that projects a pet fish on the fractured cast. The idea is to make the kid take care of the cast himself without much interference of the parent. The kid does so by taking care of the pet fish which reacts to how the kid interacts with the cast. The wrist band is synced with a smartphone app on the parents’ phone which updates him/her about the activities of their kid with the cast and thus safeguards the healing of the child. It also gives a timeline of activities that the child did and gives a hold on any possible damage.
Stroking makes Xico happy
Xico reacts to the kid’s interactions. As Xico grows his actions become more and more playful.
Add prompts for kid from the mobile app. Xico makes him do the activity.
The most important part of Xico however is to protect the child from any further injury. It does so by making the child keep the hand steady. The moment the hand goes into a dangerous position, Xico is pushed out of the water. Scared he starts to shout(visual and auditory feedback) and compels the kid to rightly position the arm. Also, The parent immediately gets a vibratory & auditory notification on the mobile app so that they can look.
As the fracture starts healing Xico also starts to grow, giving a sense of achievement to the kid. The fish is more mature now and reacts differently to tapping and other gestures