Blogpost – Positive health

The term ‘medicalising’ is used more and more and therefore has a growing role in the medical world. Besides this growing role, it also tends to redefine aspects of a ‘normal’ life

In the past 8 years, the number of people having a chronic disease increased by 17%. In 2011, 5.3 million Dutch people had a chronic illness. The majority of these people were elderly people. However, last year’s increase was visible in all age groups.

Also more people with more illness

In The Netherlands, the number of people with more than one chronic disease increased with 26% which makes the total 1.9 million. Worldwide the amount of people with more than one chronic disease also increased.

Generally, when the media covers (chronic) illnesses, it is mostly negative. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about this. This is why it is so important to mention and discuss the ‘positive’ side of this subject. You have to change people’s mindset; teach people it is psychical.


Increase because of ageing population, earlier diagnosis and better treatments

Besides an aging population, there are two other important explanations for the growing amount of people with a chronic disease/illness. Nowadays, people (regular citizens as well as doctors) are more aware of this growth. Because of this people who experience symptoms tend to go to the doctors earlier. This way diseases can by diagnosed at an early stage. Moreover, certain illnesses/diseases can be treated more efficiently because of new technology. Therefore patients live longer. RIVM, chronisch zieken neemt toe

Because of an early diagnosis, there is a greater change of improved treatment which may lead to a better quality of life.

14% of all Dutch children have a chronic disease. Zorg voor het zieke kind, gevolgen

Some of these children are born with a chronic disease and don’t know a life without it. Because they don’t know how it is like to live without having a chronic disease, these children have a different view on their disease compared to people who become sick at an older age.

But also because of the technology nowadays it is possible to actually life your live with a (chronic) disease and have some fun instead. A graduation project, of Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology, named “Meedoen is groeien” helps with seeing the positive aspect to life with a (chronic) disease.


Fizzy provides children the opportunity to move and play in the hospital. Fizzy reacts to people by moving such as rolling away and shaking, but also makes funny sounds. When a child is tired, Fizzy adjust its behaviour and becomes more quiet and relaxed. However, when the child is ready to play again, Fizzy knows this and starts being more energetic.

Fizzy is not just an ordinary ball to play with. Fizzy takes the initiative and becomes a buddy for a child in need of attention. Fizzy sometimes needs help because he gets lost, this way the child is able to guide the ball and challenge themselves.

“Moreover, Fizzy makes children exercise in the hospital!”

Fizzy will adjust its space and speed according to the health of the child. In the beginning, Fizzy will stay in the room of the young patient, but after a while it will stimulate the child to leave the room and meet other patients. Dutch Design Week, Meedoen is groeien – Fizzy

Another toy is AscoltaMe. AscoltaMe is a smart communication instrument which helps family members to talk to each other about difficult things.

Ascolta me

A hard subject to talk about can be sickness. It is very likely that a person doesn’t want to talk about his/her illness because he/she feels ashamed or is afraid of the reactions. With AscoltaMe you can express your feelings and talk about anything without telling anybody and not being judged.

“AscoltaMe makes difficult conversations easy”

By pushing the button it will record a message. This message is turned into light all the way to the middle. When it reaches the middle the light stops moving until someone listens to the message. After this, the light will disappear and you can leave a new message. 

This product is designed to stimulated indirect communication. Dutch Design Week, Meedoen is groeien – Ascolta me

One of the uncountable (chronic) diseases is a (congeniatl) heart disease.

One out of hundred children are born with a heart disease. Heart Bloom will serve as an initiative that aims to help children with congenital heart disease (CHD).

Heart bloom

Heart Bloom is a participatory live-art installation, which offers the audience a biofeedback experience through mechanical movement, sound, and artistic visualization.

Without you being aware of it, the heart is continually changing its frequency. Wh7en you experience excitement or fear you actually feel your heart beat fast. Biofeedback is a technique that measures physiological processes, and rapidly gives back the data to the users, helping them to be aware of their physiological conditions.

Each heartbeat triggers one movement, creating a line or a dot. The variation of the heart rate is demonstrated by the pen’s behavior.

“Let the heart lead the brush!”

Heart Bloom brings the positive message that everyone is special, and that the hearts of children with CHD might function abnormal but create unique and beautiful flowers

In conclusion, a chronic disease is seen as something negative. This makes sense because of the consequences that come along with it. However, as mentioned earlier, there if nothing we can do and it is a matter of changing the mindset of people in combination with (instruments, toys) which are able to increase the quality of life.

With the current improving technology there are plenty ofopportunities which increase the chance of a greater quality of life for the future.


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