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Smart Wearable Support

We explore the design concept of a smart wearable support which is capable of prevent recurrence of accident through activity monitor.

Photo of Winnie Lovegood

Written by

What challenges or opportunities are you trying to address within the problem? (200 characters or less)

Challenges patients face includes 1. fear of accident recurrence, 2. lack of awareness to resources. Our opportunity is to provide a holistic recovery support that monitors patient's condition.

During the rehabilitation and recovery stage, patients commonly chooses a wearable support to provide physical support and alleviate pain. 

How might we design the wearable support more data-empowered to prevent the recurrence of accidents and raise the lacking awareness in overwhelming recovery resources?

The smart wearable support serves 3 major functions, and a sketch of use case is provided:
(1) Being able to track the patients physical activity and generate monthly follow-up insights.
(2) When a recurrence of accidents happens, the smart wearable support is able to instantly link to emergency medical aids (i.e. contact close family member, call ambulance, etc.)  
(3) The monthly follow-up insights can be shared across significant stakeholders such as caregivers,  medical/community professions (under patient’s consent) to keep updated of the patient’s recovery status or provide suggestions.

With the main functions, the design aim to tackle the current challenges patients are facing, including:
(1) the fear of recurrence of accident
(2) lack of awareness to existing resources
(3) lacking data for follow-ups.

Our opportunity is to provide patients a holistic recovery care system that monitors their condition, providing support which alleviates pain and connects the patient with relevant professionals.

The concept is currently in the blueprint stage, while further researches needed to be done to provide a working prototype and pilot-runs for the next refinement stage.  

Who is your target end user and why will they be interested? (650 characters or less)

Our end target users will be elderly aged between 60-65, living alone and moderately tech savvy (eg. Able to make calls and use WhatsApp). They are people who do not want to burden others but do need some form of help if they are facing something or a situation that is beyond their control. They trust the technology to provide them with the relevant information they should know but wants a simpler and clear indication of their recovery and current health status.

How is your idea scaleable? (650 characters or less)

This concept can be scaled into elder care centers where looking out for a large number of elderly is challenging, this idea can provide timely alert for medical staff to react in cases of fall. The idea can also be scaled to construction sites where work injuries often occurs at the hip area.

What do/will you measure to know if your solution worked? (500 characters or less)

The measure of success will be focused on: (1) Elderly desirability and willingness to use for the product (2) The product provides sufficient information for the elderly to know what is going to happen and they are supposed to do (3) The elderly is able to operate the product without much assistance in a stressful situation (4) It alleviates the pain and emotionally feel more confident to participate in recovery sessions Both qualitative and quantitative approaches for analysis.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

If you were to become a Top Idea, would you want to actively participate in piloting your idea?

  • I want my idea piloted, and I prefer to do my own piloting in collaboration with the health system and with assistance from the Challenge partner

Company / Organization Name, if applicable (140 characters or less)

MSc Design for Interaction, TU Delft

Tell us about yourself or your team (500 characters or less)

We are two interaction Design master students from the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (Delft University of Technology). We aspire to create meaningful impact through design, not to add more waste to the society but to value add and optimise to improve the lives of the people.

Location (50 characters)

We are based in Delft, The Netherlands.

What is your legal / organizational structure?

  • We are individuals

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Post sharing through TU Delft intranet

Why are you participating in this Challenge?

As future professional designers and current passionate master students, we are always proactively seeking opportunities which we can collaborate with the multidisciplinary fields and make impact through design. Also we are taking specialisation of Medesign in our master program, which is a track focusing on patient empowerment and healthcare innovation. This is a great opportunity to apply out skills and knowledge, and make contribution to the field.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hi Winnie Lovegood 
Your idea has reached the Shortlisted stage in the Healthy Bones, Healthy Aging Challenge and we have assigned you an Innovation Coach Mariah Burton Nelson as mentioned in the introduction email sent to you on Aug 3, 2019.
She is here to support you through the Refinement Phase to prototype your idea, get user feedback and build on feedback from the community to better it.

She had reached out to you to schedule call to work together and is waiting for your response.
Do let us know if you are not able to reach him.
Mariah's email is

Let me know if there is any concern or change in plans.

Any other questions, do feel free to write back.

Healthy Bones, Healthy Aging Challenge
OpenIDEO Global Community Fellow

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hi Winnie Lovegood 
Hope your idea prototyping is on in full swing!
In gratitude and in support of your future work, we would like to invite you to join the final Innovation Coach Office Hours as you continue your innovation learning journey:

Make, Try, Show, Test, Build
Ashutosh Biltharia, Designer and Engineer, MFA, Interaction Design, Umea Institute of Design, Sweden. 10am PST August 5th.

Building Partnerships in Design
Susan Jackewicz, Principal at Takhi Associates, Boston, Massachusetts. 10am PST August 9th.

Love the Problem, Scale the Solution
Chris Cochella, Managing Partner at Sequoia Group, Salt Lake City, Utah. 9 am PST August 12th.

Sign up here to attend

Photo of Olivia LaFond

Hi Winnie and team! I really like your idea of tracking patients' physical activity and incidents with the smart wearable devices in order to improve the quality of their care. As you think about scaling this in the future, I am curious as to how you may be able to incorporate an education/training component while introducing the product in elder care centers so that even elderly patients who are not as tech savvy can use it. The technology sounds like a promising way for patients to be champions of their own health, and I'd love to see this reach even more people!

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hi Winnie Lovegood 
Thank you for being super-active through the Ideas Phase of the Healthy Bones Challenge.
I am excited to see your progress through this phase. Great work!

Please make any last minute tweaks you wish to asap.
The DEADLINE for idea submission is Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 5pm PST.

A CHECKLIST to guide you is here:
Please make sure your idea does the following:
1) Clearly define the problem
2) Connects to at least one opportunity area
3) States how & when user accesses the solution
4) Tells the story

Let me know if you need anything.
All the best for the next phase of the challenge.

OpenIDEO Challenge Team

Photo of Mariah Burton Nelson

Hi Winnie and Team,

Like others, I'm intrigued and want to be helpful. Like Alan Bryant, I wonder if the info provided could help with prevention as well. (It seems to me to be mostly geared toward post-accident response at the moment, though your stated goal is prevention.) A friend just mentioned that her smart watch buzzes when she has not moved for a while. Could this device similarly give cues to help the person retain strength, balance, or other qualities needed for fall prevention? Might it send daily reminders - perhaps customizable based on what sort of reminders a particular user might need? And I echo some other statements about target age. Some 70-year-olds are pretty tech-savvy these days, and more will be in the future, as the tech-savvy generations age. So if that's your reason for the initial 5-year age gap, you might consider expanding it. That way, in the testing phase, you'll be able to see if indeed this needs to be initially targeted toward the 60-65 group, or whether 70-yr-olds might adopt it too. I also echo others' interest in whether you envision this as a watch, necklace, or what. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Photo of Blue Crump

Love where you're headed with this!

Photo of Yusuke Satoh

Hi guys.

Your idea sounds really helpful to such people. I personally like your focus which is the fear of accident recurrence, and I agree with you that it helps them emotionally.

I just want to talk about a few things.
I think as some people mentioned, the focus of target ages could be higher than the ages you mentioned because it is more likely to happen to the older ages than the 60-65.

I'm also wondering about that it seems like if something happens to them, it automatically connects to an emergency which is very helpful. But if it accidentally happens and connects to the emergency, how do you approach to this?

It would be great if I can discuss with you.


Photo of Allen Sue

Hi, your idea to develop a smart wearable support seems promising. More elders than ever before are learning how to use the latest technologies. I think there are no problems regarding the target market. I wonder what materials this kind of smart wearable support is made of to provide the greatest comfort to the elders. How do you prepare to persuade the elders to purchase your products? I am interested in knowing these.


Photo of Alan Bryant

Hi both,

Firstly, great idea! I think there is so much scope for wearable tech to provide solutions in this case.

Few points that it could be interesting to think about.

If caregivers will be using the data as well as the person wearing the product, it would be good to build out some audience profiles for the caregivers themselves. With the challenges that they face and how this device will help them. As it feels that having the ability to have always-on data of your patients recovery would be hugely beneficial, overcoming many barriers that are faced by caregivers currently.

I agree with Estela on the age of your current audience profile. The level of detail you have is great, but maybe it would be beneficial to look at the data and map the largest number of hip fractures by age against smartphone ownership, giving you an ideal audience demographic?

On the functionality and level of data tracked, I wonder if there are there other elements you could build in to not just track but improve people’s recovery? For example ability for caregivers to set daily movement targets, and have these tracked with daily feedback given to the user? Much like the 10,000 steps wearable tech that is so popular?

Finally, have you thought about how you could make these hip protectors more aesthetically pleasing as well? There was another idea submitted relating to this which could be interesting for you to discuss together, as this could help you with your aim of making the product more desirable to your customers.

It would be great to discuss any of the above with you,


Photo of Estela Kennen

Hi guys,

Interesting concept! It looks like the basis for this is a hip protector. Approximately 75% of hip fractures occur in people over age 75 (mean age 80-, so you might want to expand your target user age. There are quite a few sufficiently tech-savvy 70-year-olds out there that I don't think you'll have too much of a problem. Vertebral fractures start occurring at a younger age, so maybe a wearable brace for that might be an option as well.

Can you talk about how your idea would impact "the fear of recurrence of accident"
and "the lack of awareness to existing resources"? Hip protectors already exist but people don't wear them because they aren't covered by insurance and they aren't comfortable. How might you address these barriers?

I am looking forward to seeing how your design develops. Best of luck.