TIRR Reframe

Hello friends, 


This week at DFA x TIRR we’re moving into prototyping! We couldn’t get interviews for some bureaucratic reasons this week. But for now, the interview we had with the patient therapist (the person who works with those with spinal cord injuries), in addition to lots of informative youtube videos by people with spinal cord injuries, are a solid enough foundation to start designing a mid-fidelity(solid but unrefined) prototype. 

Looking forward, we hope to gain access to interviewing more users at TIRR. When that happens, we will be adjusting the prototype (user-testing) to better fit their needs. After this point we’ll use this user-testing to modify the mid into a high-fidelity prototype (refined, basically ready to patent).

For a fun time, read our notes below. But if it’s too long, basically we are moving into prototyping keeping in mind 1. pricing, 2. aesthetics, and 3. multifunctional ability, in no particular order.


Success is going to be rather clear for us, since we will have ideally produced a patentable, high-fidelity (pretty much totally finished) prototype for TIRR to take over and start producing for its patients. Anything below these standards is a failure (joking!).

But our success will actually be way more obvious than other teams’, since they depend a lot on recording user data. We will have something physical.




5 Key insights:

Narrowed HCW:

How can we improve the quality of life for patients with spinal cord injuries at TIRR Memorial Hermann by making them feel more independent and happier with their abilities?


Design Goals:

  • Device cannot pinch or Stress hand 
  • device has to be indied
  • final design <= 150 money
  • 7/10 patients say they would want to wear this
  • adjustable size for swelling/different sized hands
  • option for additional wrist support (for C5 patients)
  • Multifunctional ability


Measures of Success:

Long term:

  • After 6 Months, 80% of users report that they continue wearing it 
  • Able to be produced on a larger scale
  • Able to be patented

Short Term:

  •  Patients can perform 2 more actions that they couldn’t before 
  • User can put device on independently <30seconds


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