The designer behind the medical device idea, EquipPro, which received the Runner-up and People’s Choice awards at X Challenge 2021, has joined forces with a group of staff and students, helping people to think differently in response to healthcare challenges.
T’heniel Chetty joined the Good Health Design team in mid-2021. Working firstly as a master's student and now as a research assistant, she has been able to draw on her background in industrial design and her master's research which focused on using human-centred design to improve medical equipment. It was this research that led to the development of the prehospital air filter which won our judges, and audience, over at the X Challenge final pitch last year.
The EquipPro air filter is designed to be used by paramedics in a prehospital setting to save valuable time getting air into a patient's lungs. Describing the current system as trying to “thread a needle in a mosh pit,” T’heniel highlighted the need for a redesign of a piece of equipment which is used throughout the world in a situation where every second counts.
"As an industrial designer my skills are used to highlight areas where design can be utilised to improve the user experience. Through my research I was able to engage with paramedics to create a better designed airway device” says T’heniel. “Winning the X Challenge prizes meant I was able to officially register EquipPro as a company in New Zealand and I am now working very hard to refine my initial design for manufacturing.”
T’heniel said there was a natural fit between her experience, studies, and the purpose behind Good Health Design. “Working with Good Health Design has taught me the value of research and the positive impact well-designed products or services can have on the intended user." Good Health Design was set up as a transdisciplinary design and research studio based at AUT's School of Art + Design.
AUT Professor of Design and the director of Good Health Design, Steve Reay says “We engage with clinical experts, healthcare professionals as well as researchers from other disciplines, to share and test ideas and develop unique solutions with the end goal of using design to empower, delight, and enrich lives in our communities.”