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Ronal Infante Transdisciplinary Design Lead
Digital / Physical / Service

At-home Flexion / Extension Therapy Device

University of Houston
Hines College of Architecture & Design

Texas Children’s Hospital

Individual project, Aug 2018 – Dec 2018

BENDIMU plays music when correct angles of flexion and extension of the elbow are reached to let patients know they are meeting their therapy goals and to redefine what therapy looks and feels like.

First Place, Feb 2019
University of Houston
Graduate Research Showcase
Second Place, Feb 2020
Construct3D Conference
Poster Competition


Ethnographic field study

Literature review

Mind mapping

Persona Development

User Flows & Wireframing


Electrical prototyping

Arduino IDE

CAD modeling

3D printing

InVision & Flinto

Observed User Needs

On average, therapy for an elbow fracture or dislocation will involve 2 sets of 10 flexion/extension holds three times per day for 4 weeks. Elbow angles are measured by a therapist using a goniometer.

While at Texas Children’s Hospital, I observed a need for:

  • A replacement for the goniometer, which requires children to stay still
  • Accurate elbow angle measurement for at-home therapy
  • Data tracking to ensure therapy adherence
  • A fun experience that redefines this painful therapy

What if the device wrapped around the arm and attached using a slapband?

Ideation & Refinement

I explored multiple curved shapes and arm placements then 3D printed and assembled two versions before ultimately deciding the final prototype design.

The longitudinal design was chosen over the two radial designs because its slimmer profile was better suited to house the flat internal components.


Tracking Data

In order for therapists to monitor their patients remotely, a complementary app was designed to track therapy duration, set therapy goals, and output music.


More than just for kids

The main peripheral device was designed specifically for a child. Designing the app provided an opportunity to extend the main use case and to analyze an entire system.

Three key use cases emerged. User flows and wireframes were created to address each user’s tasks.


Visual Language

Bold, playful, and kitschy.

The visual language of the app aligns with the industrial design and the overall creative direction.


Patient Flow

The embedded prototype might not be fully responsive.
Click the link above to view in InVision.

Therapist Flow

The embedded prototype might not be fully responsive.
Click the link above to view in InVision.


Apple Watch
Patient Flow

The embedded prototype might not be fully responsive.
Click the link above to view in InVision.

Future Testing & Validation

The project was completed in one semester (4 months). Therefore, both the interaction and industrial designs are not final.

In order to ensure that user needs are being met, user testing and additional refinement must occur.

Industrial design:
  • Consolidating the development boards into one PCB could drastically reduce the device’s size.
  • If controlling the flexion and extension angle targets via the app is more favorable, there is no longer a need for a physical dial.
Interaction design:
  • Additional flows and features could enhance the overall experience. For example, calling a patient should probably evolve into a call request or event scheduling feature.
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