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Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre will work with the Child Growth Foundation as they ask kids to Design for Health

The Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Centre will be involved in judging the Design for Health Award – launched in partnership with TV’s Dr Christian Jessen and the Child Growth Foundation – to encourage UK children to become the design stars of tomorrow
The Award, sponsored by Merck Serono, is an opportunity for budding young designers – or any youngster with a spark of design genius – to design the next innovative injection device.

Injection devices are used for conditions such diabetes and growth hormone deficiency. These conditions are estimated to affect over 27,000 children in the UK, many of whom require frequent injections.

Dr Christian Jessen, presenter of Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, Embarrassing Illnesses and Supersize vs Superskinny explains: “Innovative design in healthcare can make a huge difference to the way people respond to treatment and manage their condition – especially for children who require injections every day.

“The Design for Health Award is a fantastic opportunity for young people to start thinking about health and share their ideas in a creative way. We look forward to receiving exciting entries across all health areas, so get thinking!”

Evolving design of injection devices means that, where patients previously had only the option of using simple syringes and needles to inject medicines, there is now a wide range of injection devices available including pens and ‘smart’ devices.

These ‘smart’ devices, which often include automatic settings and prompts, make it easier for people – and especially children – to play a greater role in their healthcare, which may lead to better treatment outcomes.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre provides a focus for people-centred design and innovation at the Royal College of Art in London. Bringing together design experts, the Centre has developed a range of designs geared towards improving patient safety, and the judges are eager to see what ideas these young people will have for the future of injection devices.

Design for Health Award entrants are asked to submit an illustration and description of their ideal injection device, explaining the functions it offers. The winner of each category – ages under 13 and under 18 – will have the opportunity to work with a professional designer for a day. They will also be invited to receive their award at a presentation held in London.

As Design for Health’s Youth Ambassador, nine-year old Reece Armstrong, who recently appeared on Channel 4’s How the Other Half Live and suffers from growth hormone deficiency says “I have to inject my growth hormone therapy every day. Without the people that come up with clever ideas for treatment, it would be too difficult for me.”

Entries should be emailed along with name, date of birth, and contact details to [email protected]. Entries can also be posted to: Design for Health Award, 2c The Plough Brewery, 516 Wandsworth Road, SW8 3JX.

The closing date for all entries is 30th September 2010.

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