- Project length: Aug 2011 - Dec 2012
Hymid R&D Ltd
During the final year of my 3D Design degree I worked mainly in the healthcare industry. With each project I didn't have a specific solution in mind, instead I spoke with hospital staff to try and solve problems patients were facing.
Along with an investor, I started Hymid R&D Ltd to bring Kinex to market. Leveraging the manufacturing expertise of Hymid Multi-Shot Ltd.
Quita is a physiotherapist at a local hospital, and she spoke about how patients with crutches struggle when using stairs. Both the NHS and manufacturers state that you must hold onto a handrail when going up and down stairs. Meaning that you have to hold a pair of crutches in one hand, which a lot of patients struggle with. The current solution is for hospitals to give patients an extra crutch, so they can leave one upstairs. This adds cost and is a makeshift solution.
Designing the solution
Kinex solves this problem by magnetically joining two crutches together using a set of four clips. The patient maintains full use of one crutch, and stability whilst holding onto the handrail. And the second crutch remains out of the way.
The orange Kinex clips fit onto one crutch, and the green Kinex clips fit onto the other. An orange clip will always magnetise with a green clip. Colour coding means that you know which two will magnetise together. No trial and error.
The clips are simple, but let’s dive into some of the details.
They never touch
There is a gap between the surface of the magnet and the front face of Kinex, meaning the magnets never touch. This is to prevent the magnets from cracking as they come together.
Kinex uses a high quality Neodymium magnet. The strength of the magnet has been chosen so that it offers stability whilst the crutches are locked together, but remains simple to pull apart. Magnets auto-locate, so you don’t have to spend time lining up the clips.
Retrofits existing crutches
The clip has been designed to fit a 25mm diameter tubular frame. The standard size for crutches in the UK.
I asked Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists for feedback on Kinex:
As Kinex is colour coded, two colour variations of the logo were designed to match the product. The “X” represents two clips connecting together.