3D Printing for frugal innovation in Kenya

Jordan Kelly

Jordan designed a product service system for a customisable 3D-printed hand trainer to help patients with hand dexterity and strength challenges recover from their injuries, tailored to the Kenyan context.

The current state of occupational therapy in Kenya leaves much to be desired. This is partly due to a lack of access to appropriate tools and products for therapists to use when delivering therapy to individuals with hand dexterity and strength impairments. The aim of this study was to explore how FDM 3D printing could be used to assist Kenyan occupational therapists in providing therapy to these individuals.

Jordan researched the topic of frugal innovation to understand how a potential product is embedded in the Kenyan context. This was followed by desk research and analysis of Kijenzi, hand therapy and current medical devices. A product-service-system scope was then created, outlining the intended scenario, which included a 3D-printed therapy device, an online configurator and a production system.

The HandBand is a 3D-printed hand exerciser that is customised to the needs of each individual patient. It is designed to help patients with hand dexterity and strength challenges recover from their injuries. The product comes in several different resistance levels and can be used in combination with everyday tasks to combine exercise with practicality. This allows for different therapeutic activities at all stages of recovery. The HandBand is an affordable and practical way to provide effective hand therapy.

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