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New nurse call handset for arthritis sufferers gets the green light

10/07/2014
 
Iconic Australian company Hills Limited is stepping up its commitment to grow Australian innovation by partnering with UniSA researchers and designers to design, develop and commercialise a new nurse call handset for aged care residents living with arthritis.
 
The UniSA project team this week moved into the Hills Innovation Centre in Adelaide to design and develop the handset which has the potential to be used in Australia’s 5,000 plus aged care facilities.
 
The arthritis handset is the first project to be given the green light by the $5 million Innovation Centre – an initiative jointly funded by Hills and the South Australian Government to support and fund next generation technology ideas, projects and start-ups in Australia.
 
Hills Chief Technology Officer Leica Ison said the company is supporting innovation in areas that can make a real difference to people’s lives, like health and aged care.
 
“Almost 4 million Australians are affected by arthritis and as the population ages, this number will grow significantly,” Ms Ison said.
 
“For those living with arthritis in aged care, it can be challenging to call for support and help because the current design of nurse call handsets requires the use of thumbs to push buttons.
 
“This proposal is for a new handset that is less clinical and more modern, intuitive and user-friendly. The new handset will be designed and developed in a way that will make it easy for an elderly person with limited dexterity to locate and operate correctly and connect with the support and care they need.”
 
“We will be providing UniSA with the support they need to develop the proposal into a commercial prototype. Experts will also be on hand to provide commercial advice and help resolve technical issues.”
 
The arthritis handset is the first project to go into the Hills Innovation Centre with several more planned over the coming months. All of these projects have been identified as commercially and operationally viable with strong potential to go from the drawing board to the marketplace.
 
The Hills Innovation Centre has been established to support and fund new and innovative next generation technology ideas, projects and start-ups. The Centre includes the Lance Hill Design Centre and the Hills D-Shop. The Design Centre is focussed on advancing innovation in user-centred design while the Hills D-Shop is targeted at discovering and commercialising digital innovation.
 
For more information about the Innovation Centre, visit: http://www.hills.com.au/innovation-centres