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Smart mug helps patients in hospitals to stay hydrated

droplet-smart-mug-and-tumbler

 

A smart mug called Droplet was developed by university student Ellie Van Leeuwen, inspired to create a solution following the care of her grandmother, who she said became disorientated and confused while in a hospital elsewhere in England after she became diagnosed with dehydration.

 

The idea was taken on by an international product manufacturing company and had input from a wide range of health and social care professionals.

The mug has a broad stable base and a chunky open ended handle to allow patients with weak or swollen hands to easily grip the handle or the body of the mug with one or both hands. It insulates the heat of the drink, which means patients can hold the mug without burning their hands and there are measuring lines to record fluid levels.

 

It does three very unique things: i) Pre-set or personalised messages that play to the patient if the mug or tumbler has not been drunk from for a certain time period; ii) Warning lights that will flash to remind the patient to drink and alert the ward staff if it has not been drunk from; iii) The base will glow to help the patient find their cup at night.

The mug was successfully trialled at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, increasing the amount of fluids consumed by patients on the wards by 60%.

Kerry Trunks, sister on Conservator ward, where Droplet has been trialled, said: “It’s been great to trial the new mugs and glasses on the ward to encourage patients to drink more.

“Their appearance is much more appealing, especially for patients who have brain injuries or cognitive impairment. Feedback so far is overwhelmingly positive.”

Philip Shelley, Facilities Manager at Musgrove Park, commented  “Droplet supports the crucial element of hydration for healthcare professionals to monitor, manage and improve patients fluid intake. This is why at Musgrove Park we are introducing Droplet in every ward.”

The smart mug will be launched in April this year. Developer Ellie said: “I wanted to create a product that made it easier for patients to self-hydrate, but also supported healthcare professionals in spotting the signs of dehydration. I’m so proud of the final result and it’s wonderful to now see patients and carers benefiting so greatly from it – the feedback we’ve had from both healthcare professionals and patients has been phenomenal.”

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