Head Up

Researchers: Dr. Joe Langley, Heath Reed and Andy Stanton

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease. Individuals with the condition often develop weak neck muscles, leading to pain, restricted movement and problems with swallowing and communication. Ideally, a neck collar would help alleviate these. However, neck collars currently available are of limited use for people with MND and often rejected by patients.

This research sought to build understanding of the optimal requirements of a neck collar that could both support the head and have sufficient flexibility to allow functional head movement.

Co-design workshops brought together people living with MND, carers, clinicians and designers. Participatory methods were utilized to build understanding including interviews, 2D visualisation and 3D mock-ups.

Through an iterative prototyping process the Sheffield Support Snood, a class one medical device, has been patented. This has undergone clinical evaluation with early results indicating that the product meets the user requirements and improves adherence, resulting in an increase in the number of hours the collars are worn.

This project was in collaboration with:

Dr Chris McDermott and the team from SiTRAN, The University of Sheffield

Dr Nicola Heron and the team from NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC

Ann Quinn and the patient and family representatives through the Motor Neurone Disease Association

Staff from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust

And funded by:

NIHR i4i funding

NIHR Devices for Dignity

Motor Neurone Disease Association

Project updates

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
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