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Life-changing healthcare innovations feature at Made in Brunel 2013

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Several young designers and engineers featured in this year’s Made in Brunel showcase have focused on providing healthcare solutions that can make a difference to people’s lives both in the UK and around the world.

Healthcare designs taking centre stage at the highly-acclaimed exhibition include Zen, a watch that can help relieve anxiety, Digit Floss (UK Reg Des No 4029569), an innovative device to help clean between the fingers of stroke patients who are unable to unfold their hands, and a new inclusive Easy-Open Deodorant designed to enable independence in personal care.

The exhibition, which showcases the innovations of young designers from Brunel University’s School of Design and Engineering, opens at The Bargehouse on London's South Bank from Thursday 13 - Sunday 16 June 2013.

Zen is a wrist mounted device designed by Johnny Connors that, at the aesthetic level, works as a watch. However there are sensors on the product which detect the biological signs of the user to determine the level of anxiety they are experiencing. Once detected, the watch vibrates to alert the wearer and then displays options to help relieve the stress.

Hand contracture due to a stroke is a heavily underestimated condition with few effective offerings in maintaining hand hygiene and the condition is particularly prevalent among the older population. Young designer Fung Chan has developed Digit Floss, a device which intuitively enables safe hand washing without prying apart the fingers.  The product assist carers to perform their duties safely and efficiently and patients benefit from an improved experience to maintain personal hygiene.

Young designer Ben Clarke’s Otto is a rollator developed through research with many older people, designed to combat problems with current walking aids which lack design acumen, reducing their independence and inhibiting the quality of their lives. Otto’s unique Scandinavian inspired birch plywood construction is optimised to improve posture and provide unobtrusive aid around the home.

Inclusion and disability are also major themes of this year’s showcase. Lynette Smith’s project Easy-Open Deodorant looks at the stigma which is unfortunately still attached to many disability aids despite the growth of inclusive design. Initially, an assistive deodorant product for one person, the design was adapted for a wider variety of users, resulting in an inclusive product that is easier to use by all. The Easy-Open deodorant design enables independence in personal care, accommodating different grip and reach abilities, alongside convenience for fast paced lifestyles.

Weixin Jin’s Innovative Spoon Design is a comprehensive and detailed investigation to develop a spoon to help adults who experience reduced muscle strength, poor spatial coordination and decreased motor skill. The design concept improves food serving accuracy and thus reduces the chance of food spillage. It is hoped that using this spoon will help the adult gain confidence and retain personal dignity.

This year’s show focuses on stories of the design and engineering students and how their own personalities and experiences have shaped their innovative products.

Many of the young designers and engineers are set to become industry names of the future and a number of the designs have been developed in collaboration and at the request of leading brands including Coca-Cola, Puma and Rolls-Royce.

Around 300 innovations are expected to catch the eye of consumers, producers and service providers. Previous Made in Brunel exhibitors have landed top jobs at the likes of Jaguar Cars, Porsche Design, Dyson, Burberry and Lastminute.com.

The three day exhibition will include workshops, design forums and talks from leading figures in the design and engineering industry.

For more information about Made in Brunel 2013 please go to the Made in Brunel website or you can follow the show on Twitter: @madeinbrunel13.