Research – Silver Economy
How to cope with an ageing population and their dependence when resources in hospitals and nursing homes are becoming increasingly restricted? How to offer a solution to enable each person to cut up their own food without assistance? How can this tool be made accessible to everyone who needs it? We are trying to address all these questions in our research and innovation division as well as finding a solution that is synonymous with autonomy and dignity.
During an immersion period in a nursing home, our teams observed how much of a problem cutting up food posed to elderly people as it requires using the fingers on both hands. Often patients who have suffered from various conditions such as a stroke do not have full use of both hands. With the aid of APF (Association for Paralysed People), we started looking for a modular cutting solution which can be adapted to all types of disability.
The project team comprised a project manager with experience in dependence-related projects, a doctor of biomechanics and a team of 3 to 5 engineers and planners specialising in mechanics and electromechanical systems.
We used 3D printing to create the first prototypes. They are currently being used to carry out tests to improve the mechanical and ergonomic configuration of the components. Our aim is for the final product to be comfortable for the vast majority of patients to use. We are also working on streamlining production costs in order to make the product widely accessible.