Tech Comes Before a Fall

				Japan is now a society of the elderly, where one person in four is 65 years old or older. They themselves, as well as their family, hope that they will live healthily, free from injury or disease. Yet despite this, elderly people can trip and injure themselves not only when they are out, but even while they’re at home. And if they suffer a major accident like breaking their femoral neck, there’s a big jump in the risk of being bedridden. 
				Kaneka: our science makes wishes come true. Using technology, our forte, we decided to see if we could do something about this problem. And what we came up with is a product called “Kaneka Hip Protector”. This product installs pads in an innerwear to absorb and disperse impact force despite their thinness. These pads are in fact a combination of two completely different fields of technology: our polymer technology and foaming technology. They truly are products created through the “chemical reaction” of Kaneka’s creativity. 
				Regarding the pads, one of the hardest parts, not just in commercializing them, but in their development, was measuring their effectiveness. We couldn’t just strap them on elderly people and say “Then, now fall down, and we’ll check if you get hurt…” Collaborating with a university, we used a computer to simulate the body shape, bone, and soft tissue (muscles and fat) shapes and properties for an elderly woman. Then we measured and input how she walked. We also ran a range of simulations, not just with and without the pads, but also changing their materials and shapes.
				Based on the results, we produced prototype Hip Protector. Furthermore, we evaluated the prototype with a “model thigh” and measured it by dropping a weight on it multiple times. But that wasn’t all. We listened carefully to people actually working in a hospital or nursing home to learn about all-important aspects like comfort and washability. In the end, we had completed the development of our Hip Protector. We hope that Hip Protector will help elderly women enjoy safe and happy lives. 
				Kaneka’s job is not just about making society as a whole happy, but also to support happy lifestyles for individuals through the power of science. We will continue to come up with different combinations of diverse technologies, creating things that can contribute to people’s futures.

To return to the original size, click the enlarged part of the book.
With iPad, scroll on the enlarged part of the book with two fingers.