One of a series of projects with stairlift manufacturer Stannah looking to invigorate product and service offerings through Inclusive Design.
At a glance
- Our several-year partnership with world-leading stairlift provider Stannah, developed new inclusive product and service propositions.
- This project explored ways to create and support better balance and vestibular health for particularly for women aged over 55.
- Other projects in the series included: embedding simple technology into stairlifts to create connected care experiences; and community-based service support concepts.
This series of projects took an Inclusive Design approach to explore, new design offerings with the world’s largest manufacturer of stairlifts, Stannah.
Within this project the challenge identified was around falls - the leading cause of accident-related mortality in older people across the UK and major contributor to reduced mobility. We examined how we can reduce the risk of falling in later life, to allow people freedom, independence and safer enjoyment of their own homes.
The project focused on women, as they are at a higher risk for falls-related fractures and have a greater chance of developing a fear of falling. Concepts were co-created with user cohorts of older women, most of whom had previously had a fall. Experts were also engaged in the process - from falls experts and balance trainers, to computer scientists and statisticians.
We designed a research methodology to explore an individuals current and past relationship with ‘Activity Levels’ and ‘Balance Health’, and worked on creating and communicating measurements, methods and routines that would allow individuals to achieve self-knowledge through human insights.
A first of its kind free app designed to help individuals, and healthcare professionals working with individuals, to improve balance health and remain fall free for longer.
Grover, S., Atkin, R. & McGinley, C. (2015), ‘Certainty as a Provocation: The design and analysis of 2 Quant-Qual tool dyads for a qualified self technology project’ at Research Through Design, Cambridge, March 2015
Dr Chris McGinley
Senior Research Fellow
Chris is an award-winning people-centred designer, researcher and writer with over fifteen years of experience on a broad range of projects in inclusive design, which have been successfully commercialised, exhibited and disseminated internationally.View full profile
“As we age our risk of tripping and falling increases, this is often due to poor balance. Stannah have worked with industry experts and older people to create the Balance app. Using structured exercises that target and improve core stability, this excellent new product can be utilised as part of a prevention programme of therapeutic intervention, reducing risk and maintaining clients independence.”Leading occupational therapist and founder of The OT Service
“Some people may be unaware that their balance is something that can be improved. With some short exercises that can be easily incorporated into a daily routine it is possible to improve balance and most importantly confidence. We are delighted to be launching Stannah Balance to give occupational therapists another tool to tackle the loss of confidence that can come with poor balance or as a result of a fall.”Fifth generation Stannah family member, qualified occupational therapist and occupational health consultant at the Stannah business