National acclaim for nurse call device
Monday, 26 October 2015
A life-saving nurse call device designed through a collaboration between Flinders University and Uni SA has received national acclaim.
The device received a Gold Design Award, President’s Award and Premier’s Award at the recent Design Institute of Australia Awards.
The new nurse call button was specifically designed for use by older people who suffer from reduced hand dexterity, and are unable to use most traditional devices.
The device glows in the dark, and allows users to safely and easily summon help by squeezing or pressing it with any part of the body.
During the design phase, the design team visited aged care homes and worked closely with occupational therapists and rheumatology specialists to find out which methods of activation would work best.
Aged care facilities currently modify existing devices to make them usable – so the device provides a simple solution to an expensive problem.
Dr Peter Schumacher from UniSA said the new call button will soon be patented and is being manufactured mainly in South Australia.
“People often refer to South Australia as an ageing state, but we should be looking at that as an enormous opportunity to lead the world in innovation for ageing communities,” he said.
“Projects like this one generate jobs and there is so much potential in aged and health care to find solutions and improvements that have really broad and important applications to improve the lives of older people. This is just one success – but there is so much more potential.”
Associate Professor Sandy Walker from Flinders University said the awards recognised the significant innovation skills of the researchers at UniSA and Flinders who developed it.