When a team at Stanford University accepted a challenge to design a low-cost prosthetic knee joint that could be produced locally for use in the JaipurFoot Organization’s clinics across India, the students were eager to dive into the technical aspects of developing a product. However, they quickly learned that the organization already had an inexpensive joint that it was using. When the students immersed themselves in additional research to more fully understand the problem, they discovered that there were many emotional and psychological issues associated with the existing solution that had to be addressed in creating a better design. This mini-case study highlights how the team evolved its understanding of the stated problem into a detailed and addressable unmet need and then began to address it.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Joel Sadler, Vin Narayan, and Krista Donaldson of D-Rev for their participation. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.