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The AirClothes Assistant

I hope my idea could eliminate the potential risk of getting worse for elders who falls accidentally at that moment.

Photo of David Chen

Written by

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

My idea is designed for elders who can slightly walk on the street. Usually when elders fall, they would lose the balance, and just lay down straight without holding anything. So the AirClothes can help people eliminate the risk of getting fraction or internal hemorrhage when falling. We can also fill in more simple treatment in those airbags attached around the body part.

I witness many times that elders fall on the street, it's very terrible scene. Usually they just lay down on the ground straightforward without any help. They even barely can help themselves while waiting for the ambulance. 

The injuries thus arise at that moment due to the impact created between body at the ground. It is suggested that the body should be staying stable as the way it is. Therefore the condition gets worse. 

If at this moment, elders can benefit from the clothes or equipment that already have on their own, it could dramatically help them reduce the risk of getting worse. The AirClothes Assistant thus comes to help create that cushion and can even further provide emergent treatment by filling materials that reduce the pain, then I think it could hugely help rescurers or even doctors conduct necessary procedures later on. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I found that elders who falls have less likely severe outcomes while wearing more clothes during winter than they do during summer. So I think clothes materials technology deserves our more exploration on this issue.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Elder people have many unexpected conditions than we might think, and sometimes even not limited to elder people. In other words, medical system is also what we could improve as a whole experience, such as long term caring, eating habits, medical instruments offered for the family use at home. Maybe we could integrate product designers, service designers, or industrial designers come together to create more friendly community or system, to make it as a one-stop solution provider.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 4 months - 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I currently take Product Design program at SF, CA. Previously I work as UI & UX designer at Lenovo, and work as Interaction Designer at Acer Inc. Healthcare is one of my focuses as designer who wants to make a significant impact for our societies. I'm also teaching myself coding and business online.

16 comments

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi @David Chen

Thank you for all your participation in the challenge and for sharing the AirClothes Assistant 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?

Photo of Milena Marcetic
Team

Hi David, I think this is a great idea as the reality when it comes to elderly is that no matter what we do to prevent falls, some will inevitably fall and it would be great to see something like your idea help minimize the injury. Is your product extend down to the hip area as that is often broken in impact and the recovery can be lengthy and in some cases not successful at all. It would be good to see if the cushioning can extend beyond the waist. Nevertheless, keep up the good work and congratulations on getting this far.

Photo of Khuyen Bui Gia
Team

Hi David,
Congratulation for making this far! Have you had the chance to work on this idea, and if so what feedback have you got (even if you simply ask people if they may want to use AirCloth)? Ideas with feedback get better and more credible.

There are some other one-stop shop solution like The 360/365 Caregiver Monitoring Model  that you may want to consult. Let me know if you have any questions !

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi David,

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.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi David!

Welcome to the refinement phase.

There are also a few ideas from previous OpenIDEO challenges that might interest you.

All-Generation Friendly ATM (a finalist idea from our financial longevity challenge) -
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/top-ideas/all-generation-friendly-atm - has a good video of the prototype to articulate the user journey and how the product works

Sweat band (a top idea from our past healthy lives challenge) is a physical monitoring product -
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/healthy-lives/top-ideas/rekindle-the-sweat-band - it has a good example of a user profile, user journey and direct consumer feedback. They have also thought about how they could advertise their product.

Photo of eldy wullur
Team

Hi david,
Great ideas, such as using a helmet while riding a motorcycle or air bubbles in the steering wheel, are all designed to reduce the risk of injury during an accident.
Just think about user comfort for the elderly who living in the tropics like us in Indonesia with daytime temperatures around 38 degrees Celsius.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi David!

Great visuals and interesting idea!

Have you thought about the materials you would use?

You might want to check out Create A Wearable Airbag Bathrobe and Vauxhall ADAM OnStar 

Photo of David Chen
Team

So far I was thinking it could be air fill in, for the clothes material itself, I haven't thought through yet. Those are really great inspirations! Thanks Kate!

Photo of Harrison
Team

Hovding can be include in AirClothes Assistant
Checkout this link,
http://www.hovding.com/how_hovding_works

Photo of David Chen
Team

Yes, it's a very great example. I kind of want to hide it inside the clothes, just in case some elders might not want to be covered like the one for the helmet. But we definitely can explore more on that. Thanks Harrison!

Photo of Manjunath
Team

Hi David,
How does the jacket deflate? Also is air the only possible means to fill it in?
I know that including a sensor to detect a fall and inflate the jacket at such short notice takes a lot of money. Why not fill it with foam or similar materials which will take impact everytime without the need to deflate.

Photo of Avery Soh
Team

Good question!
Yeah, I thought of how the jacket is going to be deflated too!
Perhaps a possible way could be like that similar to air-inflatable floats (like the kind that kids use for swimming?). There could be an opening tab that can be opened to release the air out and deflate the jacket. That would be a low-cost and simple method of deflation! :)

Photo of David Chen
Team

Yes, good point. I personally don't know the cost of this kind of technology, and I was thinking about using the orientation sensor like what's inside the smartphone. Filling with other materials could also be working, and I hope it won't affect how the body moves or feel sort of uncomfortable during any kind of weather conditions. Thanks Manjunath!

Photo of David Chen
Team

About how to deflate, I think a certain kind of clothes material might be able to help, by releasing the air slowly in a way, as a buffer, or could be like what Avery mentions, which is a good point as well.

Photo of Avery Soh
Team

Really love this concept, and it's such a meaningful application of your product design knowledge! :)
It reminds me slightly of airbags in cars!

Photo of David Chen
Team

Thanks Avery! Yes, it kind of inspires from that, and maybe the design can't fully prevent any damage, but hope it can prevent from getting worse afterwards.