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international organisation that wants to spark awareness and debate on the great importance and potential of design. INDEX: wants to inspire the creation of new designs that improve the lives of many people around the world.
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The Helping Hand, IDAS I : body

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How did this design improve life?:
The Helping Hand makes life easier for users of pills. It combines design and functionality in a safe, discrete and elegant way. Protecting, reminding and guiding the user.
Name of Designer(s):
Designit and Bang & Olufsen Medicom
Designers professional status:
Professional
Status of realization:
Realized
Kind of design:
Tangible
Produced by:
Bang & Olufsen Medicom a/s
Year of production, realization or publishing:
2004
Designed in country:
Denmark
Used on continents:
Entire World
Short description of design:
The Helping Hand is an intelligent medical storage device. It is innovative due to the helpful features integrated in the design – made to protect, remind and guide. At the same time, buttons and displays have been left out making the device easy and safe to use.
Functionallity and use of design:
The Helping Hand has a schedule for medicine use. It reminds the user with sound and light when the medicine must be taken. The patient takes out the blister card and takes the medicine. When the card is put back, The Helping Hand shows the compliance level in colours.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
From the very beginning of the process we wanted to create a device for total protection of users. Wanting to create a highly technological device with multiple functions, we started out with a concept of display and buttons.


However, what the target group needed was a device so simple and easy to use that no instructions or manuals would be needed. This was in fact a drawback for the innovation process, because we needed to re-think the very concept. Furthermore, we analysed the distribution process and found out that other medical devices are rarely bought. Instead, they are given to users for free when they buy medicine. This, combined with the technical insight on the target group, made us realize that the product had to focus on simplicity, ergonomics, ease of use and low-cost production.
Research and need:
The most important finding of the research process was the difference between what is possible to design and what is the right thing to design. We found out that a lot of things were possible, for instance an indicator on each pill tracking time and use. However, research on ergonomics, research on the target group, market analysis, production analysis, distribution analysis, usability tests and technical research resulted in three simple words: Protect, remind and guide.
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