For children with respiratory conditions things
are looking up, thanks to this lightweight, award-winning innovation from ShanShan Wang.
Roam is a lightweight oxygen cylinder that was developed for her major project in industrial
design at UNSW. “I came up with this idea when I saw a child
in a park using an oxygen cylinder. One of these cylinders is pretty heavy. I thought
‘Hey, Why not? I’m an industrial designer. Why is a product like this out on the market?
I need to fix this problem. And that’s what I did.'”
Conventional cylinders such as this ah, last usually between 20 to 30 minutes and are usually
quite heavy. My design reduces this weight by about 45 percent and as well lasts between
two to three hours. The current nasal mask is actually uncomfortable and a lot of its
pretty obtrusive to how they move around and how they eat. So what I did was I redesigned
the nasal component and turned it into a hybrid between a nasal mask, which is those plastic
prongs, and the oxygen mask. It’s much more comfortable for a child to use, it’s much
more durable and it contains digitised interface which is so much easier because if you have
a child, you know, playing around with knobs. Well this thing’s specifically locked to a
patient and how the patient is supposed to use it. And it’s just much more comfortable.
It’s all about humanising a product at the end of the day. And that’s what I did with
Roam. Roam has gone on to win the prestigious James
Dyson and Red Dot Design awards and is currently in the process of seeking commercialising
partners. ‘So in one word to sum it up, it’s exciting.
Very exciting for me as an industrial designer because I can see something that I’ve grown,
babied, all the way to, eh, a proper, one day, a proper product. So now I get to work
with expert who are specialised in their field and I get to learn off them. Because Roam
is a medical product it will take about five to 10 years to develop. There is a lot of
standards and regulations that you’ve got to go through. Hopefully one you’ll see Roam
out on the streets, roaming around as they say.”