This product was created for Prinses Maxima Pediatric Oncology Center in Utrecht, Netherlands. Onky is a soft toy with concealed sesnors and electronics that can measure the key vital signs of a child like body temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, through tactile interactions. As the child interacts with the toy and comes in contact with the sensors, the information collected is transmitted to the smartphone of the parent over internet. This makes the process of monitoring child’s health a more convenient and enjoyable experience.
By doing extensive research on the existing scenario of children with cancer, it was discovered that they suffer an immunity loss post their chemotherapy sessions, which makes them prone to infections. Thus, a parent needs to keep a constant check on the key vitals of the child to monitor any increase in temperature or heart rate. This is currently done with medicals tools like thermometers which leads to an aversion to the process and takes away from the normalcy of their lives.
Thus, Onky was created to take away from the stress and anxiety of the parents, while at the same time letting kids be kids again by hiding away the medical devices. The form of Onky was developed to appeal to the children as a pet or a companion with huggable qualities. The toy also contains interactive features like sounds, light and movement that ensure that the child is engaged and can constantly develop a bond with it. The product aims to be a toy in the eyes of the kids, but a medical monitor for the parents.
Initial prototypes were hand-stitched based on the explored form and then tested with a focus group of children to determine what features appeal to them the most. There was also observational study to understand the way the interact with the product. This helped re ne the product into a truly appealing toy for the children. With latest temperature and heart rate sensing technology to support it, Onky truly aims to help restore a sense of normalcy back into the life of children with cancer.