Physical activity is key when it comes to preventing many so-called diseases of affluence. However, older people in particular often lack the motivation to stay active. UT student Vera Schockemöhle’s Artificial Flower was designed to help solve this problem. Her invention earned her the first Niers Fund eHealth Voucher, which can be redeemed for 5,000 euros in funding plus development support from the DesignLab, Novel-T and the UT Biomedical Signals and Systems chair.
As soon as the user engages in physical activity, the flower begins to open. When a preset target is reached, the flower opens all the way. While research shows that visual feedback can act as an incentive, the novelty of such feedback could wear off. Vera Schockemöhle developed the Artificial Flower as part of her graduation project for the Creative Technology Bachelor’s programme. The Niers Fund eHealth Voucher jury praised the invention’s creative, innovative concept and high likeability factor, but also noted that further research was needed to confirm its effectiveness. The eHealth Voucher will allow Vera to continue developing the Artificial Flower together with a team of five highly motivated fellow students.
The Niers Fund eHealth Voucher is awarded annually to a Bachelor’s or Master’s student, PhD student or young alumnus (someone who graduated within the last three years) with an innovative idea for an eHealth solution. The voucher is made possible by the Niers Fund, a named fund at the Twente University Fund. The Niers Fund was set up in 1988 as a gift from the Overijssel business community on the occasion of the departure of Queen’s Commissioner J.L.M. Niers. The award was presented on Tuesday 2 November by jury chair Nico Versteeg, secretary and managing director of the province of Overijssel, during the TechMed Event (part of MedTech Twente Week) at the TechMed Centre of the University of Twente.