Save-A-Joint Progress- Jennifer M.

Save-a-joint has been hard at work and started working on building a scale model of the elbow joint! We’ve been looking at endless number of diagrams and researching needs that our device needs to fulfill. Using what we’ve learned these past couple of weeks we’re almost done building our model. Before starting our model, we dissected a chicken’s elbow joint that provided an ‘inside’ look of what’s going on around the joint and what helps it move etc. It gave us a better idea of what parts of the elbow we should be focusing on and protecting the most. We also got to see how the muscles extend and flex while observing the different types of synovial joints. In order to make a scale model, we measured the length of the humerus, radius and ulna bone. For the materials we used wood and covered it with modeling clay, from there we attempted to create the synovial joints that helped the bones move in different directions. At the beginning of our project we were asked to order an existing product for protecting the elbow in order to identify what our product should include more of and what it should keep. We just got our products delivered today and are wearing it for a day in order to experience what it’s like to be injured in that area and wear the device. We’ll each get a chance to try it on and get the opportunity to be in the costumer’s shoes as well as find specific spots where our device can improve on. Below are pictures of our scale model;IMG_8204IMG_1089IMG_1094IMG_1092

Currently we’re looking into customer interviews and a starting point for our device. By finding our focus points, key features and the problem overall we can start looking for the type of materials we want to include and which ones would be the most effective. We can do this through our customer interviews and discover how they play and how we can make their sport easier. In order to know what direction we should take our interview in and how to get the information we want, we read two articles; How to effectively interview your target market’s potential product users and Applied Ergonomics: Determining User Needs in Medical Device DesignI read the first article and got a better insight on what a productive interview is like and guiding questions that will help us make the product more comfortable to wear and safe to prevent any injuries to the elbow. It included information such as, the purpose of an interview (which is to understand the target problem) and the goal (which is to identify the market problems and how your product will solve them). We can gain more knowledge with information such as what frustrates them and how we could help them play in their sport easier. Going back to our dissection of a chicken wing, it helped us see what big role the tendons and ligaments play in how athletes play, keeping them healthy and attached to the humerus and ulna/radius is one of our main concerns.

scoi-elbow

Surprisingly, this project is less stressful than I expected it to be. Our last project prepared us for the endless research and test runs we will encounter in the near future. Excepts this time we’ve been given advice on how to improve and what we should consider thinking about for this project. Gaining the perspective of the customer is a very important step in our project. It puts us in the mind of what materials we should be looking for and gives us an area of focus. So far we know where we’re going and why it’s important to pay attention to small details. We’re ready to save elbows with an open mind.

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