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PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions. Unloader One re-design. Richard Child

EMBRACE User centred solutions.


CONTENTS

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Executive Summary of Research

Page 5 -

Background

Page 6 -

Project Partners

Primary Research

Page 7 -

Initial Meeting - Meirion Grimshaw

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Meeting Two - Meirion Grimshaw

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Meeting Three - Tracy Furniss

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Meeting Four - Gillian Cuff

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Meeting Five - Christine Mercer

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Meeting Six + Seven - Meirion Grimshaw

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Material Testing

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Material Testing

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AIR/NHS Sandpit

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AIR/NHS Sandpit

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Wearing the Unloader One

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Wearing the Unloader One

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T-Scope Knee Brace

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Techneopro Company Visit

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IOM3 Visit

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IOM3 Visit

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CONTENTS

Questionnaires Page 23 -

Unloader One Patient Questionnaire Results

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Unloader One Patient Questionnaire Results

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Unloader One Patient Questionnaire Results

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Online Questionnaire Results

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Online Questionnaire Results

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Online Questionnaire Results

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Online Questionnaire Results

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Online Questionnaire Results

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Online Questionnaire Analysis

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Gym Questionnaire Results

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Gym Questionnaire Results

User Statements Page 34 -

User Statements

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Elle Peapell - Long term user statement

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Robin Snuggs - Professional Kiteboarder

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Robin Snuggs - Professional Kiteboarder

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Robin Snuggs - Professional Kiteboarder

Primary Research Page 39 -

Meeting Eight - Gillian Cuff

Research Analysis Page 40 -

Research Analysis

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Research Analysis

Project Annex Appendix 1 - Secondary Research Appendix 2 - Materials Research Appendix 3 - Embrace Documentation

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF RESEARCH

As this project is very specialised, primary research is a key element. The problems of the Unloader One were arisen by Meirion Grimshaw who was in talks with a designer beforehand about a possible redesign, this never materialised. Through Meirion I’ve managed to get in contact with other NHS staff within Cornwall who use the Unloader One, giving me not only a strong contact list, but also a strong body of background research. These contacts within the NHS have allowed me to understand not only how the brace works, but also the problems patients are facing. They’ve also allowed me to start the process to begin talking with patients; a key area to the project. The second area to my research is companies and events within Cornwall. In December 2010 I was invited to attend the AIR/NHS Sandpit, not only did this teach me more about AIR’s goals but it was also an insight into projects happening throughout Cornwall and the UK. Through the event I met Brian Warwick who is founder of Lostwithiel based company ‘Techneopro.’ Techneopro specialise in bespoke Neoprene products and have already worked with the NHS developing wrist and thumb supports. Through a site visit I’ve understood more about the advantages of Neoprene, it has lead me to using is it as a viable material option for the Unloader One’s new design.

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BACKGROUND

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when a joint wears down causing the bones to rub. Inflicting serious pain to patients. Patients with Osteoarthritis of the knee have two options; surgery or wearing a knee brace. The current cost of surgery is around £8000, so an expensive option. A brace is merely a way of prolonging the need for surgery. The Unloader One is market leader for Osteoarthritis of the knee. So you would imagine the Unloader One to fit the users needs, not only technically but also visually. Well sadly this isn’t the case. As a piece of technical equipment the Unloader One is faultless, it has an extremely high success rate (around 96%,) allowing patients a more active lifestyle. What use is this technology though unless a user can interact with the brace? Visually the Unloader One is terrible, the single shade of colour means patients find it difficult to differentiate between various aspects within the brace. The Unloader One is also ugly and bulky so no patient would ever comply to wear it unless they really had to. Trying to understand the Unloader One is also difficult. The strap system is complicated and working out how to fit the brace is not only a problem for patients but NHS staff as well. Embrace sets out to unlock the technology within the Unloader One, addressing the problems of all users of the brace; from the manufacturers, to NHS staff and patients. By doing this we remove all restrictions currently connected with the Unloader One. All patients with Osteoarthritis of the knee can benefit from the world leading technology the Unloader One has to offer.

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P R O J E C T PA R T N E R S

1

Meirion Grimshaw Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist Therapy Department Royal Cornwall Hospital Truro Merion.Grimshaw@rcht.cornwall.nhs.uk

2

Gillian Cuff Occupational Therapist Orthopedic Clinical Assessment Service Camborne 01209 881658 Gillian.Cuff@ciospct.cornwall.nhs.uk

3

Brian Warwick Technical Manager Techneopro Lostwithiel 01208 872222 brian@techneopro.co.uk

4

Giles Leeming Clinical Specialist Orthotist/ Podiatrist Ă–ssur UK Ltd 0161 490 8558 gleeming@ossur.com www.ossur.co.uk

5

Tracy Furniss Physiotherapist West Cornwall Hospital Penzance 01736 874012

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PRIMARY RESEARCH

Initial Meeting - Meirion Grimshaw Thursday 19th July 2010 2pm This initial meeting was to determine Meirion’s thoughts on the current Unloader One and some problems he encountered. These were: Slider determines degree of ‘Unloading’ - the slide adjustment was difficult to use and is a vital part of the brace. The Unloader One’s current colour scheme is grey on grey which is the worst combination for the visually impaired. A new design not only needs to be more colourful so patients wear it but it also so the visual interface allows a user to distinguish between vital areas of the brace.

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MEETING TWO - MEIRION GRIMSHAW Thursday 2nd December 2010 3pm The second meeting with Meirion was far more informative as I had a structure with my questions based on my Secondary Research. The information gained from the meeting was as follows: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Treliske Therapy Department fit 200 Unloader One braces each year Each brace costs the NHS £379.95 Excluding VAT This equates to £75,990 per year at Treliske hospital alone (excluding VAT) There are 12 variants of the Unloader One in total: medial and lateral damage, 3 Sizes for each (S, M, L) and then there’s Left and Right leg The Unloader One has a 96% success rate The brace can’t be reused and are generally thrown away The brace is in constant use by the patient so any new design needs to be durable The current information leaflet that comes with the brace is difficult to understand for patients There is no obvious label for sizing which wastes Physio’s time and NHS money Patients who use the Unloader One tend to be middle aged to elderly.. The current Unloader One is designed for a younger generation Adjustment straps are in major need for a re-design as they’re an important aspect of the brace. They’re currently too hard for patients to use Patient return rate is not a problem after the brace has been fitted Sizings tend to be too large for the leg The closest competitor to the Unloader One is the Medi M.4 0A

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MEETING THREE - TRACY FURNISS Wednesday 8th December 2010 1pm The meeting with Tracy in Penzance provided me with a second perspective from NHS staff. This meeting uncovered more on how the knee brace functions. The results were: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Inside of a knee is known as medial, outside is lateral Brace hinge goes on the side of pain Hinge needs to be close to the joint, a problem if swollen Straps cross over to form the second pressure point The brace is available with extra padding Straps catch the skin as they pull tight The Unloader One is avoided for select patients due to its complexity The brace only works for the simplest unloading problems, which is damage to the knee on one side Only unloads pain whilst the leg is straight The pull adjustment is difficult to use, needs to be more ergonomic As the brace pulls tight it causes discomfort Distinguishing between the top and bottom of the brace is difficult as they’re identical The straps cross over which again isn’t obvious The clip system is over complicated Another option besides the Unloader One knee brace is knee surgery which costs around £8000

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MEETING FOUR - GILLIAN CUFF Thursday 9th December 2010 4pm •

Gillian Cuff is an Occupational Therapist working with the Orthopedic Clinical Assessment Service (OCAS) team.

OCAS was set up as 70% of patients referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon didn’t require surgical intervention.

Gillian Cuff fits more Unloader One knee braces than anyone else in Cornwall and has given me some samples of Splint material.

The Splint materials were Orfit, Orfit Drape and X-Lite. These materials can all be moulded to the body after being soaked in boiling water, and are used within the NHS for creating casts.

Orfit Drape

Orfit

X-Lite

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MEETING FIVE - CHRISTINE MERCER Wednesday 12th December 2010 2pm Christine Mercer is an Occupational Therapist who worked with and briefed Techneopro on a redesign of their thumb and wrist supports. The objective of this meeting was to understand the use of Bioprene as a material. • • • • • •

Appearance and heat of original design was a major problem Bioprene can be printed onto - custom made supports increases use Perforation holes - breathable Velcro receptive - allows the addition of Velcro material Metal bar supports moulded into shape - possible use within my project Velcro can be laser cut which decreases the strength of connection allowing ease of use

Front: Bioprene with Velcro

Back: Velcro Receptive Surface

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MEETING SIX - MEIRION GRIMSHAW Thursday 13th December 2010 1.30pm The purpose of this meeting with Meirion was to finalise the methodology of how I would get in contact with Patients. The form will be given out to patients as they come to Meirion. Each form shall contain: • • •

Covering Letter Questionnaire Stamped Addressed Envelope

These need to be sent to Meirion for approval by the trust. Roughly 20 forms will be sent out. This meeting was also used to collect material samples of Orfit.

MEETING SEVEN - MEIRION

GRIMSHAW

Thursday 3rd February 2011 1.30pm Covering Letter Patient Feedback Questionnaire Form Additional Information Sheet Stamped Return Address Envelope

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M AT E R I A L T E S T I N G Each material was soaked in boiling water then moulded into shape.

X-Lite • • • • •

This material is for much more intricate body moulding The material’s properties changed almost instantly so it was mouldable X-Lite isn’t durable enough for the Unloader One Leaves markings on the surface it’s applied to Very flexible once moulded

Orfit Drape • • • • •

Easy to mould No marks left when wet Turns transparent in boiling water Properties change in boiling water instantly Very flexible once moulded

Orfit • • • • •

This material took a few minutes to change its properties once added to boiling water Harder to mould than the other two Less flexible once moulded Very durable No marks left when wet

Most suitable material is Orfit due to its durability.

Orfit Drape

Orfit

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X-Lite

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AIR/NHS SANDPIT Tuesday 14th December 2010 9am - 5pm AIR - Academy of Innovation and Research Developing Independent Living Products The central aim of the Sandpit was to collaborate professionals from a variety of professions to deliver a more rounded project. The day started with presentations from 3 different business models to ignite inspiration between the group. After the presentations, we split into 3 teams to tackle 2 project briefs in a time space of about 3 hours. Although no solid final outcome would prevail from the task, it made us work as a team utilising everyone’s skill sets. This was the most important piece of information from the day. We talk about design for the user but without how do you define the term user? AIR set out to ultimately gather all the users who would be involved in a project/product and form them into design teams. This day not only provided me with some useful contacts but also an interesting perspective on user centred design as a whole. The most important contact of the day was Brian Warwick who is Technical manager and founder of Techneopro. Techneopro specialise in bespoke product solutions using Neoprene. A recent project from Techneopro involved a wrist support. Neoprene could be a possible new material for the Unloader One.

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WEARING THE UNLOADER ONE The best way of understanding how the Unloader One works is to wear it myself. My initial problem was working out which way up the brace goes, each end is practically identical so that was the initial problem. One the brace is on your leg, the hinge didn’t touch the knee, the idea is that it’s as close the knee as possible. There is some give within the hinge connection but this needs to be improved upon. The strap system is the most confusing part. It’s not clear if they crossover, and it’s not clear how the clip operates. Circular stickers with numbers on indicate where the clips go but these aren’t obvious whilst the brace is on the leg. As I connected the upper clip, the strap pinched the skin. The caused discomfort and made it difficult to fit the brace. Once the brace was finally on it felt uncomfortable. Without having Osteoarthritis of the knee it is hard to understand whether the brace actually works but from talking to Therapists I have the understanding that it has a high success rate. The biggest problem is usability. The brace is ugly, confusing and bulky. Whilst wearing shorts they had to be lifted so I could fit the brace. I wouldn’t have minded showing the brace if it looked reasonable but it’s large, unattractive and the grey on grey is not only dull but also the worst kind for visually impaired patients. It seems that Ossur understand how to relieve pain from the knee, but fitting the brace and getting to that point is complicated.

Complicated double clip

Strap system

Hinge not near knee

Pinches skin

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T- S C O P E K N E E B R A C E The T-Scope from Breg is a versatile Post-Op brace much like the Unloader One. The stated benefits are: • • • • • • • • • •

Telescoping hinge bars extendable from 43.2 cm - 68.6 cm Accommodates a larger range of patient leg lengths Universally sized (fits up to 30.5” thigh circumference) XL version available *(thigh circumference 27” – 35”) Lightweight - Weighs less than 2.5 lbs Strap lock clips keep straps positioned on bars Quick clip buckle easy on/off Quick lock offers ability to lock out brace from –10 to 30° Reduced foam for greater breathability Full foam version available

Users found it bulky, ugly and found that it slipped down the knee.

Bulky solid bars

Locking mechanism and hinge

Velcro strap mechanism

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T E C H N E O P R O C O M PA N Y V I S I T Techneopro are based in Lostwithiel and are specialists in Neoprene. Neoprene has to be in sheet form, and comes in sizes of 1.2 x 2.1 metres as that is the most efficient size for the machine. Bioprene is all made by one company as it’s an extra layer to Neoprene in the manufacturing process. Currently only one company can supply Bioprene but Techneopro are applying for the Trade Mark meaning they can supply Bioprene to competitors. All of their Velcro tabs are 70mm, so they can be bought in quantity. ISU’s (Integrated Sewing Units) are used instead of domestic sewing machines to increase production. Velcro tabs are stuck in place then sewn with a zigzag stitch and double-barred on each tab for extra strength. Straight stitch sewn on top of zigzag. The current wrist supports come in 10 sizes but only one model as the support bar can be shaped into place with Velcro. Providing a custom-fit support. Techneopro currently sell the supports for under £5, which is £1.50 cheaper than their competitors. All Velcro tabs are ultrasonic cut to improve ease of use. The Neoprene can be trimmed to size without fraying by the NHS. All fabric is double lined as it wears out, but two layers means less chance of patient returning support. Flag binding used as it can be printed on and is durable. Bioprene only used on contact points to cut costs. Techneopro print in every form and work with the client to improve their design around manufacturing. They cut costs in other areas to become more competitive.

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I N S T I T U T E O F M AT E R I A L , M I N E R A L S A N D M I N I N G ( I O M 3 ) V I S I T For further information please see document annex - appendix 2 “IOM3 Material Document.� 10th February 2011 9.30am 1 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AF 020 7451 7300 The aim of the visit is to find appropriate materials for the project, a visit was recommended by IOM3.

Meeting with: Dr. Sumeet Bellara Relationship Manager Materials & Design Exchange T: +44 (0)20 7451 7315 E: sumeet.bellara@materialsktn.net www.innovateuk.org/materialsktn Dr Sumeet Bellara was able to recommend materials for my project based on the library of the Materials & Design Exchange. This area of IOM3 includes material information and samples for designers. It also has a library which includes information on material processes. Each material is based around new innovations and technologies for designers to take full advantage of through their work. This information can be hard to find through the internet and IOM3 contain it all in one area.

Materials and Design Exchange - IOM3

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U N L O A D E R O N E PAT I E N T Q U E S T I O N N A I R E R E S U LT S

1. Have you ever encountered any problems with the Unloader One? User responses: • • • •

“I hate the size and ugly bulkiness of it.” “Not as yet.” “Slackening of side brace and thigh support for exercise while bending (not loosening).” “Not really, bit uncomfortable to start with - mainly on thigh muscle.”

2. In which age bracket did you start using the Unloader One?

20%Ê

UnderÊ 20 40%Ê

20-30 30-40

40-50 50-60 60+ 40%Ê

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3. Roughly how long have you been using the Unloader One?

25%Ê

25%Ê

1-2Ê weeks 2-3Ê weeks

3-4Ê weeks OverÊ 4Ê weeks 25%Ê

25%Ê

4. Which area of the Unloader One needs the biggest re-design?

9%

18% Appearance Usability 27%

Fitting

18%

Durability Comfort Colour Scheme

28%

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5. In your opinion, does the Unloader One knee brace need a re-design? User responses: • • • •

“Cannot see how! Should have had it long time ago to straighten leg perhaps.” “Seems to work ok for my problem, including opening the knee joint to prevent bone on bone.” “Maybe a potential problem with strap across back of knee.” “Yes definitely, good luck.”

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O N L I N E Q U E S T I O N N A I R E R E S U LT S 10 Questions on Survey Monkey; an online survey host. The Results were as follows:

Have you ever used a knee brace?

1. How old were you when you used the knee brace?

6%Ê 22%Ê UnderÊ 20 20-30 30-40

40-50 50-60 OverÊ 60 72%Ê

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2. Do you know the name of your knee brace? • • • • • • • • • •

Medi M4 S CTi CTi OTS Donjoy Armor NHS Special Donjoy Hinged TRU-PULL Advanced Knee Brace CTi Custom CTi Full material leg brace with additional knee support - after therapy went to a CTI brace (left knee) LP Neoprene Knee Support

Most common: CTi

3. How helpful was the physiotherapist during this period? Did they struggle to understand the knee brace?

47%Ê

NotÊ VeryÊ Helpful

53%Ê

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VeryÊ Helpful

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4. Which aspect of the brace needs the biggest re-design?

19% 19% Appearance Instruction manual Fitting 23%

23%

Improving daily life Durability

16% 5. Did problems with the brace mean you had to return to a physiotherapist?

6%Ê

Yes No

94%Ê

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6. Would you say the knee brace fit you properly?

44%Ê

Yes 56%Ê

No

7. Why didn’t it fit you properly? • • • • • • • •

Always slid down. The brace was too long and kept moving as it didn’t fit on my knee properly. Wrong size? I have funny shaped legs. The brace doesn’t adapt to the variations in peoples differing leg diameters very well. It always felt loose on my leg, the velcro strapping would move. Tended to slip down so that the joint was no longer by my actual knee, had to spend a lot of time pulling it back up, possibly due to it being too long in the upper leg. (was full leg length knee brace.) Because they have standard sizes which do not vary in size with in small enough increments. Unless of course you are wanting to spend large quantities of money. bad design/ awkward part of the leg

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8. Did the complexity of the fitting system prevent you from wearing the brace or meant that you had to get further assistance?

22%Ê

Yes No

78%Ê

9. Does the appearance of the brace influence you decision to wear it?

24%Ê

Yes No

76%Ê

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10. Do you have any other comments about your experience? • • • • • • • • • • •

Damn ugly and bulky, gave confidence because of solid metal supports. Elle. I tore my medial ligament - and i still have issues, obviously the cheap model I was given wasn’t satisfactory at my rehabilitation stage. One of the screws holding the straps to the brace sheared the head off so I had to use pliers to get the screw out and Medi dont provide that particular screw as a replacement, only the screws for adjusting the joint. Brace is awesome. straps are a size smaller than the brace.. using in water a lot the original straps stretched and were then too long to get a decent grip on the velcro on the one above the calf. Not the most comfiest things in the world but they do seem to prevent further injuries or at least greatly reduce the risk. For what they are, just folded metal and molded plastic they are very expensive to buy private. Great for rehabilitation after patella dislocation, kept everything really stable. Great brace for wakeboarding. Ended up injuring my knee in other ways, whilst wearing the brace, but not because of it. Highly recommend. Also shout out the physio, Activ8 Rehab - Tom Williams. I only wear knee braces when wakeboarding to help prevent me injuring my knees when riding having been told to do so by the physio. Very helpful when they work and fit properly but a lot of work could be carried out to make the fitting straps and pads more resilient to use. Especially when relied upon in extreme sports or active lifestyles. I currently wear knee supports (neoprene) on both knees when running - this means I have no knee problems when not running. I have worn these when running for 20 years. When I did not wear them for a London Marathon I had 9 months of pain and physiotherapy.

O N L I N E Q U E S T I O N N A I R E A N A LY S I S Younger persons feedback: • • • • • • •

Majority of users are aged between 20-30. Most users found the Physiotherapist unfelpful. Improving daily life and the complexity of manual and brace were the biggest issues to re-design. Returning to a Physio after initial treatment was not an issue. the knee brace fit properly but there was some concerns. No further assistance was needed. The appearance of the brace didn’t influence a patients decision to wear it.

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G Y M Q U E S T I O N N A I R E R E S U LT S

Question 1. In which age bracket did you start using the support?

5%Ê 19%Ê

33%Ê

UnderÊ 20 20-30 30-40

40-50 50-60 OverÊ 60

43%Ê

The results of this questionnaire show that knee supports are initially used by individuals in the age region of 20-30. In this survey the age brackets of 50-60 and Over 60 both scored 0. Showing that the majority of users originally need the knee support/brace at an early age, the design of the new Unloader One needs to target this user group. If an injury worsens then the users age is likely to get higher, therefore the brace has to incorporate simplicity and ease of use into the design.

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G Y M Q U E S T I O N N A I R E R E S U LT S

Question 2. Which aspect of the support provided the biggest problem?

8%

Appearance Usability 50%

Fitting 38%

Durability Comfort

4%

From these results comfort was the biggest issue for knee support users, followed closely by fitting. Usability, durability and appearance scored the lowest. Comfort and fitting are closely linked as if the brace or support doesn’t fit the user correctly then it was naturally be uncomfortable. My new design will need to keep the user comfortable whilst delivering maximum support to the knee.

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U S E R S TAT E M E N T S

Chloe (knee brace and knee support user) Knee brace: “The knee brace itself was hard to fit properly because the straps were quite difficult to use, so it was frequently slipping down. This meant that when it slipped down it wasn’t where it should have been. It was quite big, so it was annoying to walk with it, also, quite chunky as well, meaning I had to wear shorts a lot of the time so it was on display more. It got quite hot when I walked around a lot. So it was generally a hassle for the 8 weeks I had to wear it.”

Knee support: “The knee support fit under my clothes, but wasn’t as effective as the knee brace at supporting my knees. After I had been wearing it for a while, the knee support left a few marks on my knee so when wearing it for long periods of time it became uncomfortable, for example during college. I like the knee support because it was quick and easy to put on and off but also was easy to carry around with you.”

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E L L E P E A P E L L - L O N G T E R M U S E R S TAT E M E N T “The OT who brought me the brace after my operation didn’t know how to fit it and spent ages trying to figure it out. Obviously it’s not that hard to fit or figure out if your our age as I had to point out to her how it worked. I guess if your old though this would make it pretty hard to use. Taking it off to wash and change was easy enough but strapping it on tight enough did require quite a lot of strength. During this initial 6 weeks I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on my leg and was relying on crutches as well as wearing the brace. I was shown how to adjust the range of movement through my knee on the dial and then the doctor insisted on doing it himself. To be honest just as well as on the drugs they were giving me this was hard to take in when I was told and remember later. It was fine in the sense that once it was on it felt solid and I didn’t worry about accidently hurting myself too much because of the metal supports. However, because of not being allowed to get my knee wet when I showered I had to use one of those plastic shower legs that tightens at either end. I would take the brace off, then put the shower leg over the bandages, but then my knee would be unprotected and feel quite vulnerable. This was during the first 6 weeks when I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on my leg. Luckily I was staying with people who had a walk in shower and a spare plastic garden chair as I couldn’t crutch my way over the lip of normal walk in showers. This was the only point in the day when I felt worried, as I was in a slick, wet bathroom, without the brace, relying on crutches and plastic furniture. So hilarious as this going through this was for the first couple of days it just became a ridiculous pain in the ass over time. The main physical problem with the brace was that it never stayed up. I would fit it and within a few paces it would slip down my leg and out of place, which needless to say was really irritating. After a while the strapping would rub where the velcro pads didn’t quite match and cover the parts that attached to the main supports. This was much worse in the heat too as the strapping and supports didn’t allow your skin to breathe at all. I guess where I’m quite short it was comparatively big, I don’t know if they come in different sizes it always felt too long and the top of the metal supports would dig in when I sat. It’s bulk was both reassuring as it meant people saw you coming and knew to stay away, but also made me feel like an idiot whenever I was out. I guess from a vain point of view, it just looks horrendous! It was more of a problem down here in Cornwall as well where people aren’t so used to seeing different things. Whenever I came into Falmouth I felt really stared at especially because it was so big, whereas in Salisbury people are used to seeing soldiers come back wounded so I didn’t feel so awkward. As you would expect it was uncomfortable to sleep in, but then they had me on strong drugs at the time so I don’t remember caring as much as I would probably have done. Though as it was the summer so it was pretty hot in the brace at night which also made my skin hot and itchy, I think this was the velcro. At night I had to elevate my leg, so I shoved a pillow underneath it, which meant always lying on my back, well uncomfy!”

PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.


ROBIN SNUGGS - PROFESSIONAL KITEBOARDER

www.robsnuggs.com 8th March 2011 12.15pm EVS WEB Knee Brace The problems Rob found with his brace were: • • • • • • • • •

Straps ripped off - velcro becomes detached and snaps off The brace is irritating around the skin Comfier, shock absorbing padding is needed. Especially for sports Lots of sideways movement in the brace For kiting is recommended that the brace is put on at a 45 degree angle, this is useful whilst boarding but for walking it becomes uncomfortable. The straps tend to dig in. All of the brace straps are one way which makes them simple More support needed around the knee cap Donjoy braces provide support from the front and back which is more stable Physiotherapist’s weren’t helpful and only provided information on possible stretches

STRAPS were the main issue - Robin suggested a system where they could be locked into place with the velcro.

PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.


PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.


PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.


MEETING EIGHT GILLIAN CUFF Tuesday 22nd March 2011 12.30pm Location: Camborne and Redruth Community Hospital, Barncoose Terrace, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3ER

Standard pad.

Short pad. 75%

Ossur members: Ruth Virgo Deputy Manager - Ossur UK rvirgo@ossur.com Throughout this meeting I discussed my project to Ruth Virgo who explained that Ossur’s design and development is done in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and Reykjavik, Iceland. A visit to these departments was offered if the project turned out to be a success. A return meeting on the 26th April will involve presenting my prototype to Ruth Virgo and her boss, the head of Ossur UK. For this meeting I need to prepare a non disclosure agreement (NDA). I also managed to size up a newer form of Unloader One which has a shorter upper pad, currently this is seperated from the other Unloader One range, but I feel it could be integrated within my model. Short pad down from 150mm to 120mm, hinge size 110mm including hinge, hinge connection from 30mm down to 25mm.

PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.


R E S E A R C H A N A LY S I S Analysis from three research areas: • • •

Unloader One patient questionnaires - direct to patients Online questionnaire - user collective Gym questionnaires - sports and recreation

I’ll start by comparing the similar questions across all three area.

In which age bracket did you start using the Unloader One?

5%Ê

6%Ê

20%Ê 22%Ê

19%Ê

33%Ê

UnderÊ 20

UnderÊ 20

20-30

20-30

30-40

30-40

40-50

40-50

50-60

50-60

OverÊ 60

OverÊ 60

72%Ê

40%Ê

43%Ê

Gym Questionnaires

Analysis

5%Ê

40%Ê

Patient Questionnaires

Online Questionnaires

19%Ê

33%Ê

The gym and online questionnaires both show that the majority of knee support users are aged between 20-30. With the age range ending at 40 and staying in the lower section of the results. This is completely different to the Unloader One patient questionnaires, where the majority of users are aged between 40-60. The patients results start at the age of 40, with the range being in the upper section of the results. This indicates that knee supports and braces are majorly aimed at the younger generation but through there complexity fail to communicate with the middle-aged, older generation. My brace design will need to communicate fundamentals; ease of use, functionality and aesthetic. Without compromise and without excluding any stakeholders.

UnderÊ 20 20-30 30-40

40-50 50-60 OverÊ 60

43%Ê PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.


Which area of the Unloader One needs the biggest re-design?

8%

9%

19%

18%

19% Appearance

Appearance Usability 50%

27%

Fitting 38%

Comfort

23%

18%

Improving daily life Durability

16%

28%

Online Questionnaire

Patient Questionnaire

4%

Gym Questionnaire

Fitting

Durability

23%

Instruction manual

9%

18% Appearance

Analysis The results of this question shows that gym users see comfort as the area of main concern, the online questionnaire results are almost equal with comfort again scoring high but durability and usability also being an issue. These responses are based on knee supports, it seems that comfort is the main issue, which is a big area as the support are generally worn for long periods of time.

27%

18%

With the Unloader One, durability and comfort seem to be the biggest issues. Combining durability and comfort into my design will be a tough task as with durability you tend to lose comfort, as the product becomes more versatile. TASK: COMBINING DURABILITY AND COMFORT INTO A USER FRIENDLY DESIGN.

Usability Fitting

Durability Comfort Colour Scheme

28%

PROJECT DOCUMENT (RESEARCH) Embrace - User centred solutions.

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EMBRACE User centred solutions.

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