Orbit represents an alternative recreationally-based design intervention that may address some of the complexities associated with stroke and the lack of rehabilitative engagement, and therefore a pivotal step towards more effective rehabilitation and reduction in long term financial cost. There are an estimated 60,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand, many disabled and needing significant daily support. Stroke breaks down the neural pathways, commonly resulting in loss of arm mobility and motor control on the affected side of the body.
Whilst a number of products exist to aid rehabilitation, many do not achieve their potential due to low adherence to therapy (35%). The complex nature of stroke and evident lack of engagement with current therapies and assistive devices may be the cause of low adherence, and therefore the underlying reason for ongoing long-term costs in New Zealand ($450 million annually).
Orbit is a therapeutic drawing tool that allows users with limited upper-body mobility to create beautifully intricate spirographic patterns. Hand-turned wooden ‘pods’ provide the users with a comfortable means of manipulating drawing instruments without them requiring the fine-motor skills that are normally needed to do so. Purposefully designed stencils help to control specific, therapeutic movements, relevant to functional movements needed for everyday life tasks. The Orbit consists of an array of components, each providing various levels of difficulty, progression to each level being a direct correlation to a patient’s physical progress. While providing continued therapeutic functions, the Orbit also facilitates both long and short-term visual feedback, allowing patients to document their progress and self-regulate their improvements.