A 3D-printable prosthetic foot, a low cost tool to help prevent the spread of Ebola and tartan designed by people with Alzheimer’s disease are just some of the projects on show at a conference looking at innovative new approaches to global healthcare issues.
The third Design4Health conference, sponsored by Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, will be hosted by 'Lab4Living' at Sheffield Hallam University next week. From Monday 13 July to Thursday 16 July the conference will see designers, clinicians, researchers and policy makers coming together to share their cutting edge research in the expanding field of design and creative practice in health and social care.
Amongst a whole range of papers discussed at the event, a low-cost 3D-printable prosthetic foot will be considered. The approach takes advantage of rapidly evolving home 3D printing technology to potentially supply prosthetic feet for children in developing countries. The concept addresses the requirement to change the size of the prosthetic as the child grows, whilst keeping costs down.
Another project describes work to challenge perceptions about Alzheimer ’s Disease. Design workshops for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has resulted in a new signature tartan for Alzheimer Scotland. The project challenges pre-conceptions by demonstrating how people with dementia can fully participate in the creative process.
The Design4Health exhibition will also present a diverse range of exhibits, including live performances addressing the future of the NHS and a device to assist in preventing the spread of Ebola. The Ebola bleach gauge is a low cost tool to help create the right bleach to water ratio for disinfectant. The design has been included into the World Health Organisation's 2015 'Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low Resource settings'.
The conference takes place in the Cantor Building at Sheffield Hallam University, with the accompanying exhibition taking place in the gallery until 26 July.
Professor Paul Chamberlain, Design Director at Sheffield Hallam University’s Lab4Living, said “We are looking forward to welcoming delegates from across the country and indeed the globe. There will be some ground-breaking ideas and design on show.
"We now have over 10 years of experience in health and wellbeing research that uses creative approaches to help change people’s lives. This third conference cements Sheffield Hallam's leading role in this debate, providing an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in this field of research.”