Each year about 3 million children across more than 200 hospitals are hospitalied for at least one night.
These hospitals provide top of the line medical care; however means of entertainment for the inpatients are severely lacking.
Current entertainment methods leave patients, especially older pediatric patients, bored and left out.
Other patients are just kept in isolation due to weakened immune systems.
A severe drawback to this is that the patients risk developing sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles.
Mental health is just as important as physical health in terms of creating a healing environment.
In fact, good mood and mental health are able to speed up the healing process by about 20-60%.
The aim of Maker Therapy is to promote a more holistic body and mind wellness experience for inpatients.
Instead of legos and crayons, imagine if, at the push of a button, a workstation containing 21st century educational technology
could roll itself into the patient's room.
Stocked with a 3D printer, laptop, Raspberry Pi, LED's, and other rapid prototyping components,
these patients would be able to turn unproductive and boring downtime into a great and fun learning opportunity.
Our goal is to keep supplying these educational engineering systems in order to keep patients' minds active and engaged.
We propose this mobile makerspace as a form of therapy for inpatients directly in their room.
Technologies that have been previously fixed to a single location are now mobile and readily accessed by anyone.
As a result, patients are able to perform mentally stimulating tasks, thereby contributing to society and giving them
a sense of purpose, though still bound to a hospital.
We are working in conjunction with the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in order to create a patient
feedback driven model. In environments such as these, children lose their sense of autonomy and it is our goal
to help them bring it back.
After an initial trial was conducted at Vanderbilt University, it was deduced
that patients were easily able to pick up on new systems and found novel ways to
construct devices to improve their own quality of life.
The patients reported an increased quality of life during their stay, as well as
increased physical activity, thereby relieving the lethargy.
Some patients even stated that as long as Maker Therapy was around, they wouldn't
mind coming back to the hospital for treatments.
Our device addresses a problem in an untapped market. Our competitions' models are three times more expensive than our design,
and hospitals have deemed that selling price as unreasonable.
Since there are about 200 million children in the hundreds of US hospitals, the market for this need is massive.
Our goal is to get hospitals to invest in a few of our units, so as to allow multiple children to enjoy the benefits, as
well as communicate to other children through an in built communication system we plan to add to the unit.
If this is the case, then we would be selling thousands of MakerSpace devices.
We plan to expand to children's hospitals internationally, as this is an untapped market in most areas of the world.
In addition, we provide the components in the cart; therefore, the entire device is modular,
making the concept all the more attractive.
This also opens up the potential to expand our market in the future from solely hospitals, to schools
and other locations that boast large congregations of children.