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Arthritis Research UK hunts for product design ideas to help people living with arthritis

Published on 14 November 2017

Design CouncilArthritis Research UK and Design Council Spark are making a final call for innovative design ideas, which would be life altering for people with arthritis. Applications close at midday on 21st November 2017.

The 2017 winner, Geoff Rolandsen, won with the Workey design. Workey helps people with arthritis open doors with ease. He was inspired after he discovered that his father, who lives with arthritis, struggled to use certain door keys. Geoff started sketching some ideas which would help his dad, and the original Workey assistive device was born. Keys slide into it and it creates a larger and more ergonomic surface area for the user to turn. It can be kept attached to a keyring or even just left on a key without becoming too big to slip into a pocket or a bag.

“It seems like a small thing, but an inability to use keys properly is a real problem,” explains Geoff. “One awkward situation because of it, and people can lose confidence for months or even years. It can mean a loss of independence.”

By entering Arthritis Research UK’s category in Design Council Spark, Geoff was able to progress take his product beyond the initial design stage, as Spark provided him with funding and monthly workshops with mentors and design experts. Four months on from completion of the programme the Workey is very close to being re-released as a fully-fledged commercial product.Workey

Charlotte Guiver, director at Arthritis Research UK said: “We hear time and time again from people with arthritis that one of the frustrating things about living with the condition is the how it limits a person’s ability to do everyday things. One of our goals is to bring more products to market that help people remain independent and carry on with the things they love. We are very much looking forward to working again with Design Council Spark to find more innovative designs out there.”

As a reminder, applications close at midday on 21st November 2017. If you need any assistance with your application or want to learn more about how Design Council Spark could help turn your product idea into a reality, please go to FAQs or contact the Spark team directly.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.