Upgrading Thai Folk-Designed Rehabilitative Devices for Children with Cerebral Palsy
A Systematic Approach
Assistive devices born of indigenous inventiveness possess great potential for systematic refinement through the use of modern design technologies. This paper presents a product development process that began with the selection of suitable folk-designed devices for incorporating into a single new product – an integrated assistive device for children afflicted with cerebral palsy. The process then followed the procedures given by the Sensuous Association Method (SAM) and the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) to arrive at an optimal design. The finished product incorporates functions for rehabilitating five neuro-motor skills of the afflicted children. After six months of field testing with a sample of nine users, the new product was found to deliver statistically significant benefits to the trial users, i.e. overall strengthening of their gross motor functions. Their sitting skill, in particular, was found to have improved the most.
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