Karlheinz Samenjo & JC Diehl winner of Mekel Prize 2023

News - 23 November 2023 - Webredactie

Chloe Syringe extension device (SED) to enhance access to compassionate and humane pain relief medication for vulnerable women undergoing gynaecological procedures selected as the most socially responsible innovation at TU Delft.

Researchers Karlheinz Samenjo MSc & prof.dr.ir. JC Diehl form the IDE Faculty (Industrial Design Engineering) have won the Mekel Prize 2023 for the most socially responsible innovation at TU Delft: the development of a Syringe extension device to administer anesthesia. The prize was ceremonially awarded by prof Tim van den Hagen on 22 November after the Van Hasselt Lecture at the Prinsenhof, Delft. Samenjo & Diehl received a statue of Professor Jan Mekel and €1.500,- to spend on further research.

Women often must undergo medical procedures that are painful and taxing – both emotionally and physically. Uterus evacuation due to pregnancy loss or miscarriage is a procedure that causes severe pain, which is further exacerbated in low-resource settings such as those present in local hospitals in Kenya, due to lack of access to equipment to administer anaesthesia. In some cases, this deters women from undergoing these procedures with oftentimes fatal consequences.

Chloe SED®
Samenjo’s & Diehl’s project is aimed to enhance access to compassionate and humane pain relief medication for vulnerable women undergoing various gynaecological procedures in low-resource settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. In co-creation, they have developed a novel, cost-effective and circular solution called Chloe SED®. This device extends the reach of a standard 10-cc syringe, readily available off the shelf. Local hospitals in Kenya, have already started to apply the device in their health care practices.

Simple design to tackle a devastating problems
According to the Mekel jury, the project scored well on all the criteria (risk mitigation, inclusiveness, transparency and societal relevance). However, it was this project’s particular focus on the needs of a structurally marginalized group that stood out. The jury concluded that the team’s unusual commitment to alleviate a problem that does not fall inside the typical focus of our current attention economy in Western Countries is highly admirable and praiseworthy.

About the Mekel Prize
The Mekel Prize is awarded to the most responsible innovation at the TU Delft. Over the past decade, responsible innovation has become a central concern in innovation policy and the funding of R&D programs like the Horizon 2020 and the NWO MVI program. Responsible innovation can be defined as aligning research and innovations with the needs and values of society. With this prize, the university wishes to increase awareness of the ethical aspects of technological developments and emphasize the role of researchers and designers in incorporating these aspects.

For furthermore information

About the project: https://youtu.be/uUu4FPWiwQ4?si=1A5WC_0Mgz8rGvSh

About the Mekel Prize: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/tpm/our-faculty/values-technology-and-innovation/sections/ethics-philosophy-of-technology/mekel-prize