1.5 Million elderly people use walkers, 4 Million elderly people use canes in America. However, what mobility device is the most preferred by them?
When we spoke with one of our elderly from the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, we asked her if she was prescribed any assistive device. She said, “Yes. My friend prescribed me this shopping cart”
While doing research, we wanted to find out the most commonly self-prescribed mobility devices. After getting insights from over 10 experts and care-givers, 30 in-depth conversations with the seniors, and interacting with over 400 elderly through volunteering at places such as senior centers and visiting rehabilitation centers, it became quite obvious that the most unstable mobility device is the most self-prescribed.
A completely new research methodology is being used in this project. More and newer Engineering, Medicine, and Healthcare concepts are being thoroughly studied and applied in the development of the device. Focus is given to not only help the elderly prevent from falling, but also eliminating the feeling of ignominy from using the prescribed devices.
Here is a brief video about what we are trying to do:
Our team worked on two different prototypes. These are our milestones:
We participated in competitions such as the Innovention, and were selected as the quarter finalists (top 18 among 52). However, we did not make it through the subsequent rounds.
We were one of the 13 teams which received a funding of $500 from the NYU Prototyping Fund.
We presented our research at the NYU Tandon Research Expo.
One of our ideas is currently in the refinement phase of the OpenIDEO Fall prevention Challenge.
Here are our ideas:
Currently the safe shopping cart is in a state of hiatus, and might be picked up during the fall 2017 semester by DFA NYU students. However, we are continuing to work on the all-terrain cane, and have performed several iterations.
Project Leader: Rodney Lobo (MS, Industrial Engineering)
Project Co-leader: Eunha “Grace” Park (BS, Mechanical Engineering)
Team Member: Cesar Augusto Sindoni Jr. (BS, Mechanical Engineering)
Team Member: Sepehr Fourouzan Yazdani, (BS, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Team Member: Dawn Marta Feldthouse, (MS, Healthcare Informatics)
Mentor: Shraddha Bhatia