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Starworks: Innovation in prosthetics for young people

Introduction

After conducting a multi-stakeholder needs assessment, the NIHR Child Prosthetics Research Collaboration is pleased to host a series of Sandpit events to address some of the biggest challenges and opportunities for child prosthetics technology and service provision. 

 

To address these challenges, we have four exciting Sandpit events scheduled in a variety of fun venues across the country. Although some factors will be important to consider in all of the Sandpits (such as the growth rate of children, and the ways in which the prosthetic affects their activities of daily living), each event will have its own theme;

 

  1. Salford - 'Socket Interface'
  2. Bristol - 'Upper limb personalisation and adaptation'
  3. London - 'Lower limb personalisation and adaptation'
  4. Sheffield - 'Service Journeys'

 

We are seeking creative and collaborative individuals with relevant knowledge and expertise from the community (including children using prosthetics and their families), NHS, Industry and Academia, who are willing to share ideas and be a part of this movement and opportunity. Each venue will also offer special activities for the child participants to enjoy, so we hope to see you there! 

 

The aims of these Sandpits will be:

 

  1. To enable all participants to have a greater, more empathic understanding of the issues associated with each theme, from the perspectives of children and families, healthcare professionals, industry experts and academics
  2. To generate exciting new technology ideas that might help to overcome these issues, whether this is Digital or Physical, Active or Passive, High or Low Tech, Smart or Dumb. 'Technology' is understood in its broadest sense, and may include (but is not limited to) Virtual, Augmented or Mixed Reality, Sensors, Data, Social and Support Networks, Materials of all kinds, Adaptable Components, 3D Imaging and Adaptive Manufacturing, and so on.
  3. To generate teams, collaborations and networks of interest around each idea, who can take them forward and submit proposals to us for Proof-of-Concept funding. However, this is not compulsory, and child and family participants in particular will be supported to ensure they participate in the events (and potentially beyond) in ways that they are comfortable with. Similarly, applications for funding are also open to the general public – attendance at the Sandpit events is not mandatory for a successful application but it is strongly recommended!

 

How to get involved

As these events are based on collaboration between different 'experts' in the child prosthetics community, we hope to create an equal balance between families and professionals from healthcare, academia and industry. Unfortunately, spaces will be limited at each Sandpit, so places cannot be guaranteed. You will be contacted as soon as possible (at least 2 weeks before the event) to let you know if your place has been confirmed. 

 

Please see our individual event pages for more information on the four challenge areas we hope to address, and to get your Expression of Interest ticket.

 

For more information on the background of the project, please visit tinyurl.com/NIHRpress, and follow our facebook or twitter accounts to keep updated. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Nat Mills (Nathaniel.Mills@sth.nhs.ac.uk) or Gem Wheeler (G.Wheeler@shu.ac.uk).

 

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