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[2019/12/04] A NYMU Faculty of Medicine Student Led Team Wins the “Stanford Design Challenge Asia”

The National Yang-Ming University Student Team “Pneumatile” accepting the award


The Pneumatile team, led by students from the National Yang-Ming University Faculty of Medicine, has won the Asian Student Competition that is part of this year’s “Stanford Design Challenge Asia” with their innovative work on an “inflatable cushion”. The team will go on to compete with two other winning teams for the opportunity to go to Stanford University for the International Competition.


The Stanford Silver Hair Design Competition was created in 2013 by the Stanford Center on Longevity in the United States. It hopes to provide more innovative solutions for the elderly and geriatric industry through the creativity of young people and their mastery of new technologies. The Asia region competition has been organized by the Taiwanese social enterprise “Yin Xiang the World” since 2015. This year’s Asian region competition finals were held on November 2nd. The theme of the competition this year was “Injustice: designing a Longevity Plan Affordable to Everyone.” The scoring criteria include influence, affordability, cost and relevance to the theme.


The Pneumatile team consists of five students from National Yang-Ming University, China Medical University School of Medicine, and the National Taiwan University Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering. The team focused on a high risk group among the elderly disabled individuals, specifically those has not yet contracted decubitus. They designed a comfortable, easy-to-wear, low cost and easily-assembled air cushion unit. The air cushion is able to relieve the back pressure of those who sit for a prolonged period of time. Such a cushion prevents patients from getting decubitus. This design stood out from among the final eight teams in the competition.


Pneumatile team members and their design


Student Chen of NYMU Faculty of Medicine remarked, “decubitus is the last thing disabled patients want to face. It places a heavy burden on the family members and medical staff who look after the patient. After reading the literature, we found that the severity of decubitus is related to one’s social class and educational level. The team then actually talked to nursing staff, caregivers, directors of health and some residents. They began to believe that a more accessible, portable, and easy-to-replace anti-decubitus product would be able to effectively help these patients. With this idea in mind, they designed the award winning “inflatable mattress”.


Commenting on receiving this award, Mr. Chen said, “In addition to the team’s efforts, I would also like to thank all the valuable people who have helped our team, including the organizer, Yin Xiang the World. They provided the finalist teams with professional consultants who helped us to modify and improve the Pneumatile step by step; they also provided English presentation workshops that allowed us to be able to fully explain our proposal in English. In addition, they also, through discussions with the 5% Design Action team, helped to show us the amount of effort and detail required to nurture an idea into reality. In addition, I would also like to thank National Yang-Ming University Makerspace director Dr. Wu for assistance in designing the prototype, which resulted in the honor that we were able to win the competition.