Case Study - Special Collection: Wheelchair-related topics for less-resourced environments

Use of a design challenge to develop postural support devices for intermediate wheelchair users

Brenda N. Onguti, Deepti Tanuku, Elizabeth J. Himelfarb Hurwitz, Nathaniel C. Moller, Youseph Yazdi, Shannon Egan, Eva S. Bazant, Anthony Gichangi
African Journal of Disability | Vol 6 | a346 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v6i0.346 | © 2017 Brenda N. Onguti, Deepti Tanuku, Elizabeth J. Himelfarb Hurwitz, Nathaniel C. Moller, Youseph Yazdi, Shannon Egan, Eva S. Bazant, Anthony Gichangi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2016 | Published: 08 September 2017

About the author(s)

Brenda N. Onguti, Innovations Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Deepti Tanuku, Innovations Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Elizabeth J. Himelfarb Hurwitz, Innovations Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Nathaniel C. Moller, Innovations Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Youseph Yazdi, Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design (CBID), Johns Hopkins University, United States
Shannon Egan, Innovations Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Eva S. Bazant, Monitoring Evaluation Research Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Anthony Gichangi, Monitoring Evaluation Research Unit, Jhpiego, Johns Hopkins University, Kenya


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Abstract

The provision of an appropriate wheelchair, one that provides proper fit and postural support, promotes wheelchair users’ physical health and quality of life. Many wheelchair users have postural difficulties, requiring supplemental postural support devices for added trunk support. However, in many low- and middle-income settings, postural support devices are inaccessible, inappropriate or unaffordable. This article describes the use of the design challenge model, informed by a design thinking approach, to catalyse the development of an affordable, simple and robust postural support device for low- and middle-income countries. The article also illustrates how not-for-profit organisations can utilise design thinking and, in particular, the design challenge model to successfully support the development of innovative solutions to product or process challenges.


Keywords

Design Thinking; Design Challenge; Human-Centered Design; Innovation

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Crossref Citations

1. Editorial
Jonathan Pearlman, Rory Cooper
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doi: 10.4102/ajod.v6i0.423