Serving the needs of sick or disabled people with Digital DIY

An interesting contest launched for Maker Faire Rome 2016 gives even more perspective to evaluate the future of DiDIY in healthcare, and also some insights for our Organization and Work research package.

Sometimes, people who are sick or with special needs (or their relatives) must transform themselves in makers. But in general, it is "full time" makers who should step in and assist those people. Since practicality and beauty help those who are suffering, assistive tools for the sick must be both functional AND beautiful. One example is the knife handle "cover"above, which makes a knife easier and simple to handle to people with limited hand mobility, or hand control.

To promote designs and products like that, Sanofi Genzyme launched #MaketoCare, a contest to promote deas that help improve daily life for people with special needs. On the "Organization and Work" side, this whole experience is relevant for the collaborative innovation model it proposes to (potentially) all manufacturing companies:

Working together, Makers and professional designers first "handled the most important stages of product screening and testing". Next, the designers started designing new tools, or tools accessories, for disabled people, and makers immediately building prototypes, to test them again. The conclusion? "If everyone brings their own contribution without invading the field of expertise of someone else you get good results". A full description of the process (in Italian) is here, and ends with a message for the whole maker community:

"if the totality of people tells us that they are unable to self-produce what they need, it is our responsibility to find a way to reach them anyway [by trying to serve with a maker approach their already existing needs, rather than trying to convince them of the superiority of our models"