The Compact+, developed by Spark for Optelec was presented with an Independent Living Design Award for the at the 90th Anniversary British Healthcare Trades Association Awards Ceremony.
The Independent Living Design Awards aim to recognise innovative products that assist independent living. Products are judged on innovation; aesthetics; usability and practicality; enhancement of quality of life and clarity of user instructions and literature. Products from all sectors of healthcare are submitted for the award. The judging panel are drawn from a variety of backgrounds, all completely independent from BHTA. This year the Chairman of the judges was Sue Norris, Head of the Centre for Evidence-based Purchasing, part of UK National Health Service.
As part of the judging process, the panel contacted Compact+ users and, at the award ceremony, recounted their interview with Mr Donald Marks, who is 80 years old and has enjoyed very good eyesight until this year when he lost vision in his right eye and central vision in his left eye. Consequently he cannot read anything without assistance. Says Mr Marks: “I looked at all the ‘toys’ on the market and selected the Compact+ and it’s become my left hand. I cannot recommend it enough. It’s a wonderful piece of design – I used to be a designer and painter so I appreciate that – it’s compact, functional and easy to use. It has multiple applications – I can change the magnification and colour, the strength of light and even freeze frame it! It’s perfect for reading the paper, a book or a menu. It has a useful handle and a pouch that I can put on my belt if I’m going away, which I do quite a bit. Also the fact it is rechargeable is a huge bonus. I give it 12 out of 10.”