Skin fold callipers are used to determine body fat composition on a person’s body by executing a pinch test on multiple parts of the body. The examiner then puts the numbers into an equation to predict body density and body fat percentage.
At Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) Glasgow in the feeding clinic children aged 3 months 18 months are subjected to a nasty “pinch” from an austere looking medical device. Needless to say the children squirm away from the measuring device making it difficult for the doctor to take an accurate reading. As there is only 2 callipers in Yorkhill Hospital this is a specialist bespoke micro-project and is regarded as a Charity Project where 4c will kindly fund the cost of design and prototyping.
We visited Yorkhill Children’s Hospital feeding clinic in Glasgow where we able to sit in on a consultation in which the skin fold calliper would be used. The child was a healthy 18 month old toddler, the procedure was as follows:
- Child is weighted and measured
- A Clinical Psychiatrist, Nutritionalist & Dietician talk with the parent about general health and allow child to become familiar with environment
- Pinch test
- Using tape, measure skin pinch
- Introduce child to pinch machine
- Pinch arm (ideally 3 measurements)
- Pinch back (ideally 3 measurements)
We presented our concepts on colourful A3 prints to the Yorkhhill group to get their input on the project. We were warmly received and the presentation was informal, relaxed and filled with good humour…we were at a pub on a sunny day after all.
By using a simple Table of Properties chart the group were able to select the winning concept… in joint 1st place was the Honest ‘Bob the Builder’ measuring tool concept and the “Mickey Mouse Glove” concept. However we asked if they could pick just one winner and the “Mickey Mouse Glove” design won because of its ease of manufacture – printed fabric vinyl stitched into a glove shape. There was also some concern that the other concepts my impede function or become tired with age.