Development of Product for Prevention of Femur Fracture
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The number of hip fractures in Norway is annually increasing due to growth of the older part of the population. The consequences from this type of injury are massive, both for the victims and in terms of medical rehabilitation costs.The hip can be protected by applying a hip protector. This is a product with shock attenuating material covering the hip region which prevents fracture in case the user falls by accident. Many such products already exist, but they all suffer from the same problem; the hip protector is undesirable to use.This thesis involves the development of a more desirable hip protector in collaboration with Protex AS and Sintef. The basic idea was a belt solution that gave a sporty and practical look. This idea was developed further and through workshops and user testing, the result was a thin, clean-looking belt with focus on the user?s needs ranging from protection to personal taste.Extensive material testing was conducted in order to find an optimal shock absorbing material that gave sufficient protection from the impact of a fall from standing height. The material should be thin to reduce the visual impact of the belt and at the same time flexible to increase the comfort. The final material choice was 6 mm thick, over 57 % thinner than other competing hip protectors in the Norwegian market.Being able to offer this new hip protector as an alternative to the existing may open for increased usage of such products. This can help to lower the amount of hip fractures and ensure people to maintain an active lifestyle and good health for longer.