Innovative new Droplet mug helps carers tackle dehydration
A new smart mug that helps people to independently hydrate thanks to a light and sound alert has boosted water intake in clinical trials. Droplet is the new modular hydration solution that encourages people to drink more. Featuring a simple and engaging design, the Droplet mug has been specifically created to lessen the risk of dehydration and support the work of healthcare providers in hospitals and care homes.
Available in mug and tumbler form, the Droplet sits on a light and sound reminder base, and is fitted with a flow control lid. The heart of Droplet is the highly sophisticated base: this identifies when the user has not drunk for some time and uses flashing lights and recorded audio messages to remind the person to take a drink. It also alerts the carer so they can monitor hydration levels and patterns in patients whilst spotting the signs of potential dehydration early on.
Initial trials held in December 2017 at Musgrove Hospital in Taunton showed a 63% increase in patients taking a drink with excellent feedback from care workers. Facilities manager Philip Shelley said, “Droplet supports the crucial element of hydration for healthcare professionals to monitor, manage and improve patients’ fluid intake. This is why at Musgrove Park we are introducing Droplet in every ward.”
Four wards participated for five days, involving 43 patients with similar illnesses a 50:50 gender split with and without Droplet. Those patients that used the Droplet mug drank on average 63% more fluids on a daily basis than those without – an extra 500ml each day. In one ward, gastroenterology, fluid intake nearly doubled.
The innovative base seamlessly attaches to either the Droplet mug or tumbler and can be customised to suit the environment and needs of the user. Encouraging and supportive messages can be either be pre-set or recorded whilst a night light glows to help carers & users easily identify the cup at night.
Other key design features include:
• The Droplet mug, tumbler and lid is made from Tritan which is scratch, shatter, odour and stain resistant and it can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher.
• A broad stable base and chunky open ended handle, whilst being lightweight & comfortable to use, allowing people with weak or swollen hands to easily grip the handle or body of the mug with one or both hands.
• A discreet measuring lines at 100ml and 200ml help carers record fluid levels and make thickened drinks.
• The Droplet mug insulates the heat of the drink which means users can hold the cup without burning their hands.
• Flow control lid provides dignified support to those who suffer from tremors or swallowing problems. It easily clips on and off the Droplet mug or tumbler and has a hole for either a Pat Saunders straw or a regular straw.
• Flow control lid has a discreet recessed spout that controls the flow of liquids including stage 2 thickened drinks.
• Designed with speech and language therapists, who have stressed the importance of the user drinking normally. When the user drinks from the Droplet flow control lid they will not need to learn a new way of drinking.
Created by Spearmark product designer Ellie van Leeuwen, who was inspired to design Droplet after her own grandmother left hospital severely dehydrated, the product has already been welcomed into care homes and hospitals as part of pre-launch trials.
Commenting on the launch, Ellie said: “I wanted to create a product that made it easier for patients to self-hydrate, but also supported healthcare professionals in spotting the signs of dehydration. I’m so proud of the final result and it’s wonderful to now see patients and carers benefiting so greatly from it – the feedback we’ve had from both healthcare professionals and patients has been phenomenal.”
Who can benefit from the Droplet mug?
The Droplet mug is designed to support anybody who might be struggling to keep themselves well hydrated. Elderly people are often vulnerable due to physiological changes in the ageing process, whilst mental and physical frailty can further increase risk of dehydration. Patients suffering from health conditions such as dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, arthritis and Alzheimer’s can also benefit from Droplet.
Droplet officially launches in April 2018. Find further information at droplet-hydration.co.uk or follow our progress on Twitter @Droplet_UK