Apparently, aluminum crutches issued by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) are frequently not returned, running up costs for the already struggling healthcare system. Alex Williams, a University of Sussex student, has designed a cheap crutch that can be thrown straight into the recycling bin.
From the University of Sussex Design Show 2009:
Through research and development, several key structural principles have been discovered and implemented into the design to ensure the strength needed to support a user’s weight is provided by the minimal plastic design. Through varying levels of prototyping, key areas of weakness have been highlighted and strengthened to ensure the crutch inhibits similar strength and durability properties to it’s predecessor, but at a lower cost. The returning of the crutch to the hospital has been eliminated by the single-use Nylon device, which is recycled back into the system when the user has recovered. The product has been designed with convenience in mind, with 2 part snap-fitting cuffs allowing the design to be quickly tailored to the user without the need for timely adjustments. Further ergonomic considerations have also been made as a result of in-depth user based research, including the foam angled handle for comfort during prolonged use.