NINGBO, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With an ageing population and a changing social economic context, the traditional Chinese family support system for older adults has become more challenging. University of Nottingham Ningbo China students have designed cutting edge wearable technology to monitor and record the health data, enabling the best possible care for senior citizens.
Two UNNC Product Design and Manufacture (PDM) fourth year students, Menghao Yuan and Yanzhe Wang, have designed "Smart Slippers", a wearable health monitoring technology, which are not only comfortable to wear but also provide a caring and personalised healthcare solution for the elderly.
The “Smart Slippers” project has been awarded the Global Footwear Awards Overall Winner in Special Awards, Winner in Social Impact, and Winner in Medical Footwear. The Global Footwear Awards was founded by the Farmani Group, an organisation behind various competitions in the domains of design, architecture and photography (for example IDA, International Design Award). Its jury contains people from companies such as Adidas, Anta, Puma, Prada, Hugo Boss, etc. and is also supported by institutions such as RCA and MIT.
“There will be about 418 million older adults aged 60 and above by 2035. The social-economic context, characterised by an inverted pyramid family structure and the number of “empty nesters”, has compromised traditional Chinese family support for older adults. Therefore, the slippers will help to monitor and record the basic health data, amount of exercise every day. When an emergency happens, the app will also contact the person directly,” said a member of the design team. Using 3D knitting and pressure technology, the design is cutting edge and a departure from most designs that have pressure sensors directly attached to them.
Dr Martijn ten Bhömer, industrial consultant for the PDM programme, said that footwear is an iconic type of product for industrial designers, as it is a highly complex combination of design, materials, manufacturing and technology. Academic staff in the PDM programme are committed to providing students with more industry related design projects, helping students to gain an in-depth understanding of the whole product design cycle.