Many of the procedural chairs in low-resource settings are originally design for high-resource settings. These chairs often go unused because they rely heavily on electricity (which is unstable), they are difficult to maintain, and they are expensive. This often leads to the use of improper alternatives such as kitchen chairs, which can result in a lower standard of care.
Dental procedures are best performed with when patients can be easily repositioned in specialized chairs that also support the delivery of air and water. In low-income countries, gold standard equipment can be cost prohibitive, too complex, and difficult to maintain. Dental chairs therefore are often in poor condition or non-functional, and in many cases ordinary chairs are used during dental procedures. The goal of this project is to design a cost-effective dental chair that will support dental procedures (e.g., tooth drilling and wisdom tooth removal) as well as ophthalmic and otolaryngological procedures in low-resource settings. The design should provide adjustable seating options, deliver water and air, and provide a light source.
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 →