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Aisha Purvis has spent over ten years helping others in the health and social care sector. She has witnessed first-hand the multi-faceted challenges patients faced regarding malnutrition and dehydration.

Identifying challenges

During the pandemic, Aisha was completing her university placement as a mental health nurse. It was an immensely challenging time for those working in the health and social care sector. With over ten years of experience in the industry, she had developed for a keen eye for identifying current systems that weren’t effective and a passion for suggesting solutions. 

She witnessed first-hand the multi-faceted challenges patients faced regarding malnutrition and dehydration, exacerbated by staffing issues and the heart-wrenching events of the global pandemic.

For patients that are non-verbal, explaining their choices and preferences poses a huge obstacle. Aisha knew from her work as a care home manager and research as a student that 45% of patients admitted to the hospital risk malnutrition and dehydration.

Aisha also has a daughter diagnosed with Rett syndrome, which affects her MECP2 chromosome. Her daughter struggles with neurodevelopmental, communication, and motor difficulties.

“During a regression, my daughter would eat only pickled onion space raiders. I would come home every day to my blue-tongued little girl. I couldn’t bear to see my daughter struggle like I had seen my patients.”

Aisha Purvis

Founder , Sensmart

Cambridge Rare Disease Network - Aisha Purvis - providing multi-sensory solutions 1

Suggesting solutions

Aisha came up with the idea of Sensmart and co-founded it with Alex Chikhani. Sensmart provides a multi-sensory experience, combining scent prompts which reflect an entire meal, texture touch, tactile images, braille, and personalised voice prompts.

The product aims to help patients engage in a meaningful activity whilst promoting choice and independence. The product’s tremendous attention to detail allows family members to customise auditory stimulation to reflect their voices. It also provides real-life textures like that of orange peel to enable patients to connect with their choices.

“We’re tackling not only the challenge of malnutrition and dehydration but also communication barriers, food waste, and the issue of healthy eating. We’re helping both the planet and people.”

Alex Chikhani

Co-founder, Sensmart

 

The idea highlights how those who are proactive in finding groundbreaking solutions in the rare community can have impacts rippling across multiple industries and conditions. Alex describes how various fields have already taken an interest in the product – from the private and public healthcare sectors to tourism and hospitality.

Join them at Rarefest22 for an interactive multi-sensory showcase. The team has devised various engaging, fun activities accessible to all. Be prepared to have your senses warped!

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