Dex: Mobility Finalist in This Year’s Design Challenge

DEX Stanford health wearable app

Dex (Mobility)

Team Lead: Elyn Wu (Designer)
University: National University of Singapore

Dex is a fitness system incorporating a smart insole with pressure sensors and a health-monitoring app which monitors a user’s gait and then based on it, recommends game-based exercises. Team lead Elyn Wu was inspired to create Dex by her grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and encouraged by her doctors to live a healthier lifestyle.

“However,” says Elyn, “mundane exercises and lack of motivation makes her feel even more reluctant to do exercise. My grandmother is not the only one. More and more people are living sedentary lifestyles with long durations spent sitting down. Therefore, I decided to motivate people to get on their feet and experience the joy of playing games while exercising.”

DEX Stanford health shoe app

Designing and Iterating Dex
“The project started a year ago and went through several stages of development. From initial concept sketches, working with different healthcare professionals to review the idea, prototyping and researching various manufacturing techniques, to user testing it at elderly centers, Dex went through several iterations to optimize and improve its functionality. The product is currently in its third version and hopefully I will be able to develop it further with this Challenge.”

Design Lessons Learned from Dex
“For me, I think the most important thing about design is the ability to empathize with others and utilize the ability to connect knowledge from different disciplines to form possible solutions that suit people’s true wants and needs. Throughout the design process of Dex, I have learnt that there are many seniors who are overwhelmed by the changes they experience as they age. As their physical health takes a toll, these changes slowly nudge them into giving up on being active and living positively each day. From there, I decided to get them up on their feet through my design, and hopefully, be able to change their mindset towards aging independently and positively.”

Future Plans for Dex
“I definitely hope to make Dex a reality so it can reach the right people who need it. If possible, I will also make a developers kit for like-minded individuals to create other interactions in Dex through an open source platform. This will help build a developer community to further enhance Dex while bringing people from different walks of life together.”