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At this years’ Open Health HACKademy, nine interdisciplinary teams, combining people with disabilities, students from technical, medical or social fields, health experts, designers and makers develop open-source hardware solutions for diverse challenges. With the goal to develop specific products, these careables will be documented and shared, to be accessible to anyone in need or interest. Why? Because many people with disabilities lack tools or ideas they need to live and work.
So what kind of solutions are the HACKademy#3 Teams developing? Three examples from a diverse range of challenges targeting the development of open-source hardware for health and wellbeing – work in Progress:
HOW CAN WE DISINFECT THE HANDRIMS OF A WHEELCHAIR?
Tim says wheelchair users have always been faced with dirty hands. In times of the Covid-19 Epidemic, this becomes an even bigger issue and risk. “If you come home from the outside and wash your hands, as a wheelchair user it is actually pointless as long as you don’t also clean the push rims. I am a quadriplegic and cannot use a rag or similar.” Tim and his team are now working on a solution to facilitate the disinfection of the handrims.
HOW CAN WE USE A SIMPLE CONSTRUCTION TO ENSURE THAT EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR HEIGHT, CAN OPERATE A PARASOL?
Jessica states that it is impossible for small people to open or close a normal parasol when in need of some shade in the garden. She is a wheelchair user and small in stature. Together with her Team of five, she aims to develop a simple hack for using the mechanism of a pulley block to empower her and other users with this challenge to open and close parasols by themselves.
HOW CAN WE DESIGN AN INDIVIDUALIZABLE HANDLE ADJUSTMENT FOR COMPUTER MOUSE?
Hilga states “To operate my computer mouse painlessly, I need a fairly simple plastic part to increase the grip thickness. My solution would not only be helpful for me but for many users, so the requirements are individually different.” Hilga and her team experiment with different ideas ranging around her need. One of those is a glove with electronics that you wear and steer by movement as a replacement for the mouse.
Due to the current situation with the Covid19 Epidemic, we started this journey virtually, while focusing on building empathic, collaborative and strong teams. As in this time being together physically was not an option, the organization team planned a virtual hackathon over a longer period, enabling multiple people to join from various places.
With a digital kick-off on June 6th and 7th, over 70 people came together, to get to know the challenges handed in by case providers, understand skills and know-how of makers and mentors and to build teams.
With online whiteboards, video-call breakout rooms and a dive into design thinking methods, the teams were send off to work efficiently together in a self-determined learning and brainstorm phase. The teams communicate and work together with digital tools, rooms and platforms, to stay connected and be able to share ideas, wherever they are located. Every two weeks, all participants come together to feedback on each other’s progress, discuss challenges further and answer questions. Each team is guided by mentors, specialists of diverse fields.
All progress will be further documented. If you want to know more, you can find our progress here:? https://matchmymaker.de/#current-projects
In August 2020, the teams will be able to use the workshops and facilities of the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin along with other Fab Labs to build functional prototypes and document the process for their projects. Our partner of the Beuth University supports the teams with access and introductions to the 3D printing and electronics Lab, as well as helping with the production of videos shared via the Beuth Box. We can not wait to see what the teams will come up with.
We finish the HACKademy program with a blended analog and virtual get-together, for finalizing, sharing and presenting the results of all teams.
Stay in touch and follow #HACKademy #matchmymaker on social media to follow the team and their great ideas. We will continue to embrace diverse people to come together, share and learn, to help.
If you are interested or even have ideas for an Open Health Case, please contact the HACKademy team: HACKademy@be-able.info.
agile heap e.V. and be able e.V.
Andi Weiland /HKW
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