Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an undesirable curvature of the spine in the coronal plane. When left untreated, scoliosis can lead to complications in cardiopulmonary damage, chronic back pain, and can affect physical appearance. Current methods for treating scoliosis include the use of orthotic braces to stabilize the spine during the adolescent growth period to prevent progression of the spinal curve. Current bracing technologies used in high-income countries require highly skilled labor as each brace is custom made for each patient, rendering the processes prohibitively expensive for patients in resource limited environments. The goal of this project is to design and manufacture a low-cost spinal orthosis for the treatment of scoliosis which could be used in limited resource environments.
Understanding the subtle cultural difficulties in the setting of intended use is close to impossible without the full immersion into that setting. Without knowing the true difficulties and how they are managed, other teams who we have had contact with have difficulty meeting the demands of their end users. Other student design teams struggle to fully understand the user requirements and find it hard to achieve them with a completed prototype based off literature before initiating contact with the end user.
What to Know About The Global Health Design Initiative
GHDI has been working with stakeholders for more than eight years to identify and address global health design challenges. Learn more about our history and core values.Learn More →
Since inception, we have worked on projects in maternal health, family planning, minimally invasive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and more. Explore our past and current projects.Learn More →