NUS industrial design students showcase their best

Dex - shoe insole that helps diabetic patients, designed by graduating NUS Industrial Design student Elyn Wu, 24. Photo: Robin Choo
ER+ - improved first aid kit, designed by graduating NUS Industrial Design student Alvin Tan, 26. Photo: Robin Choo
SoundCARE - Intensive Care Unit ambient monitoring system, designed by graduating NUS Industrial Design student Nigel Geh, 25. Photo: Robin Choo
echo - rehabilitative tool kit for the visually impaired, designed by graduating NUS Industrial Design student Khaw Yee Jek, 25. Photo: Robin Choo
Published: 11:41 PM, May 22, 2015
Updated: 11:51 AM, May 23, 2015
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SINGAPORE — That shoe insole which is mostly used to cushion a person’s foot now has a new function — to keep the foot of a diabetic patient in check through pressure sensors installed in the insole.

The pressure readings can be viewed on one’s mobile through a phone application, allowing the user to pick up any abnormality in the pressure applied on the insole.

The “upgraded” shoe insole is among the 54 design projects created by industrial design students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Design and Environment.

The projects will be showcased at the National Design Centre as part of the school’s annual graduation show. The exhibition, which was launched today (May 22), will run till the end of this month.

Most of the projects are in response to pressing environmental, social and cultural issues, and conducted with industry collaborators, such as the Ministry of Manpower, National University Hospital (NUH) and Singapore Red Cross, noted the head of the school’s industrial design division, Associate Professor Yen Ching Chiuan.

“(These projects) further highlights each student’s ability and versatility in handling the myriad of world issues and their roles as agents and leaders of change,” added Assoc Prof Yen.

The smart insole, named Dex, is the brainchild of 24-year-old Elyn Wu. Ms Wu said her design aims to encourage the “prevention-is-better-than-cure” mentality among diabetic patients.

Many diabetic patients she spoke to at a diabetic support group said they were often unaware that they were applying the wrong pressure on their foot as a result of the reduced sensitivity they experienced due to their condition.

Some of them were even incapable of detecting hard objects in their shoes, and went about their daily lives with the objects pressed against their soles.

“They do not know what they are doing is damaging their nerves. All these result in health complications (much later), such as amputations or immobility,” said Ms Wu.

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