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Canestand

Creating a product that helps the elderly maintain balance during points of transition, such as sitting to standing.

Photo of Nathan Porteous

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it enable older adults to live their best possible life by preventing falls?

Our users consist of any person that is susceptible to or has an increased risk of falling due to several conditions including but not limited to: muscle weakness or gait, environmental disturbances, weakness due to medication, poor foot care, poorly fitted shoes, cumbersome walking aids, balance problems, poor eyesight, limited mobility, or previous injuries. A large portion of this user base consists of elderly people over the age of sixty-five in which some live alone.

The elderly experience 55% of all falls within their homes. These incidents normally happen when their balance is at a point of transition: getting out of bathtubs, beds, and chairs or traversing up and down stairs. Our concept was to create dedicated docking stations in locations transitions in balance were most likely to occur and with the cane inside the docking station would the user would have the leverage needed to facilitate rising and sitting.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • A student collaboration

Tell us about your work experience:

I graduated from RPI with a dual bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and received my MFA for Industrial Design from SCAD. Currently, I am working as a Mechanical Engineer at a product development consultancy.

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12 comments

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Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Nathan,

Thank you for all your participation in the challenge and for sharing Canestand with us.

All of the ideas posts are locked but the comments section is still open, so please feel free to look at other ideas and comment on them, seek feedback on your idea etc.

I know I have asked many ideators this question but I am asking again as some ideas pivoting in the challenge. Would you say your idea is Most Viable or Most Promising? How would the incentives associated with that Award (Most Viable/Most Promising) be helpful for you?

Spam
Photo of Khuyen Bui Gia
Team

Hi Nathan,
Congratulation for making this far! Have you had the chance to work on this idea, and if so what feedback have you got? Ideas with feedback get better and more credible. I really like this idea, and I thought one easy next step is to create an user journey - you can read more about it here https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/bda1f109-0466-4f8e-9699-1359e406df56.pdf
There are similar ideas such as @Walkane that you might want to check out too.

Spam
Photo of Lucie Richter
Team

Nathan,
Love the need space you are addressing. Couple of questions for you:
1 - why is there a need for the cane to recharge?
2 - I worry about these docking stations to become a trip hazard. Can they blend into the furniture or be contained within the cane itself? Freedom is when a product can be used anywhere.
Lucie

Spam
Photo of Nathan Porteous
Team

1. There is a light on the can to help you see at night.
2. The idea was to make the stands look like decorative vases so they would blend in as furniture. But it would be important to strategically locate them in places where they aren't a tripping hazard. To initially test this idea we would want to use a more controlled environment like a nursing home so we could work out some of these bugs.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Nathan,

We are half-way through the refinement phase and I can’t wait to see continued updates on your idea. More information can be found in the refinement toolkit which can be found at the top of the refinement phase page.

An easy first step is to complete the refinement questions which can be found by logging into your OpenIDEO account and selecting the ‘Edit Contribution’ button on the top left hand corner.

If you scroll down to the bottom, you can see the five added questions with a character limit (including spaces) to help you focus your answer. The questions start with "How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone? (what's the elevator pitch for this idea?) - 400 character limit"

In addition to answering these questions it would be helpful if you could mention how your solution fits in the market in the ‘full description’ section of your post. Who are your competitors and how is your idea unique?

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, my email address is krushton@ideo.com

Hope to see you on the refinement call this Friday at 9 am PST.

Spam
Photo of eldy wullur
Team

Hello Nathan,
After sitting long and standing up, it should be done slowly for the elderly, but sometimes there are emergency situations where the elderly move in reflexes, and something bad can happen. Thank goodness there is a docking station, hopefully this product is a way out for the elderly.

Spam
Photo of Zandri Kuun
Team

Hi Nathan Porteous I am really fascinated by your idea! In my post Canes against stigma I also explored these transitional areas. This weekend, after binge-watching TV, I developed some lower back pain. This made it quite difficult for me to get up from the sofa, as my hip flexors pulled me forward. My husband commented that I look like an old lady, which got me thinking...

After long periods of sitting (and especially when slouching and relaxing your core) we shorten our hip flexors, which makes it difficult to get up. The elderly often sit for extended periods of time, making this issue very prominent. I'm wondering, how could you incorporate this insight into your design? Or maybe, in a complimentary idea, how could you promote more movement or standing among the elderly to build their 'transitional' strength?

Spam
Photo of Nathan Porteous
Team

I deffinently think it is important that the elderly have access to low impact excercises. I know in the past when I had a herniated disk my doctor said it was important to exercise my back and core. They are deffinently a lot of classes for the elderly at your local YMCA, but a cool thing I saw when I was in HK is that there are a lot of simple exercise machines in local parks and squares that are commonly used by the elderly and are completely free.

Spam
Photo of Khuyen Bui Gia
Team

Hi Nathan Porteous I really like the insight about transition. It made me think of this product, which is already in the market. I wonder if that gives you thoughts on your idea http://www.1800wheelchair.com/product/sky-med-self-standing-designer-bling-cane/?gclid=CjwKEAjwwcjGBRDj-P7TwcinyBkSJADymblTuV6I0K8tzN5e-61wEX2W-ZY93h-2NtR_u8xQlkC8ZhoCzcnw_wcB

Spam
Photo of Nathan Porteous
Team

I believe the main difference between the product you posted a link to and my idea is that the self standing cane is helps to offer stability while walking, my idea is supposed to offer leverage while transitioning from sitting to standing. But I do like the input.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Nathan!

Thank you for sharing Canestand with us.
What material(s) is Canestand made of?
How far has Canestand progressed since 2009 (date of the attached powerpoint)?
Is this still the case - 'The existing solutions (bed rails) cost over $90.00; we plan to sell our product in
a set of five bases that includes the cane for $50.00'?

Spam
Photo of Nathan Porteous
Team

Hi Kate,

Thanks for the response. The project hasn't progressed much since it was done back in 2009. The idea was created in my sophomore college studio class, so I am sure some of the facts are slightly fluffed (as many young college students do) and outdated. However, what I think was most important is the primary insight we found during our research. People always think of the stairs and bathtubs when it comes to falls in the elderly because those places are slippery and prime locations for falls for people of any age. But something that we take for granted at a young age is our bodies ability to keep itself balanced. But when you do simple actions like getting out of bed or a chair you HAVE to put yourself off balance to get from one position to another. When the elderly are unbalanced during those points of transition that is when they are at the highest risk of falling. The concept we presented has a lot of holes I know, but I feel like that insight is an important area to focus on when it comes to solving this problem.