ecentre’s Innovator Wins Hospital Sleep Research Grant
ecentre Innovator in Residence Dr Aruna Shekar is part of a team which has been awarded a $150,000 grant by Auckland District Health Board to research design solutions to improve sleep outcomes for hospital patients.
Dr Shekar was involved in the team which designed the research project ‘Healing, recovery and wellbeing: Designing sleep interventions for the hospital environment.’ The team is led by Rodney Adank of the School of Design.
Dr Shekar said the award recognised that her team’s project had potential to contribute to solving a real world problem.
Using students to contribute to the progression of ideas and solutions, the objective is to arrive at a range of design solutions across product and service innovations. These solutions will collectively improve the quality of the sleep experience in hospitals.
The team comes from across design, health sciences, construction, technology and includes innovation experts from the ecentre. Auckland District Health Board is partnering in the research too.
ADHB has over 1 million patient contacts per year and serves 531, 000 people. That number is expected to grow by nearly 100,000 in the next six years.
Hospitals need to offer improved sleep quality because it offers:
· healing, recovery and wellbeing resulting in shorter hospital stays,
· increased hospital efficiency
· higher patient satisfaction
· returns patients to their families sooner.
The work of the research team will have impact at New Zealand’s largest public health facility Auckland City Hospital, Starship Children's Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre.
Dr Shekar came aboard ecentre in her 25th year with Massey University. Vice president of the Product Development & Management Association (Asia-Pacific), Dr Shekar’s research interests are in product development methods and best practices, consumer research and product innovation in humanitarian engineering contexts.
Her educational focus is on teaching product development through project-based learning experiences and fostering creative thinking. She has led the re-designed first year humanitarian engineering course in conjunction with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a non-profit social organization, for four years, and every year her students have won national and international awards.
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