Winner of the Design Council UK Innovation Award and a $85,000 investment from charity Versus Arthritis, new product the Keywing key turner will help millions with arthritis or reduced dexterity to open doors and regain independence.
The Keywing is an innovative and thoughtfully designed new product that clips onto household keys. Once in place, it creates a larger surface area and longer lever, making keys much easier to hold, grasp and turn, and locks much easier to open.
Geoff Rolandsen - Designer & Director - Keywing.
Winner of the Design Council UK Innovation Award and a $85,000 investment from charity Versus Arthritis, the Keywing key turner is launching in the US on the 17th January 2020, helping millions with arthritis or weak grip to open doors and regain independence.
The Keywing has been designed by Australian born, London-based designer Geoff Rolandsen. Geoff witnessed his father living with deteriorating dexterity in Australia and the challenges that it brings to his everyday life. Inspired when his father struggled to unlock his shed, and determined to make a difference to his life, Geoff set out to design a beautiful, desirable product that could help restore independence to his father and the 90 million people in the US1 who live with arthritis and weak grip.
"It was incredibly frustrating to know that a task as simple as opening the front door, is such a challenge to so many people" says Rolandsen.
The Keywing design was tested and refined over 18 months with hands on testing undertaken by Versus Arthritis supporters across the UK. It is officially launching in the US in January 2020 at www.theKeywing.com and on Amazon, and a full national retail launch is under discussion.
User responses have been incredible, with 90% of people saying it significantly helped them to use their keys with ease and would make a needed difference to their day-to-day lives.
Sarah Odoi, IP development manager at Versus Arthritis, comments:
"There are vast numbers of people living with the pain and fatigue of arthritis. Many struggle with everyday activities that we take for granted, like getting dressed in the morning or turning the key in a lock. That's why products, like the Keywing, are essential in helping people to stay in control of their own lives, without the fear that they can't unlock the door to their home."
"As a charity we support innovative designers, like Geoff, to make everyday products that not only help people with arthritis to maintain their independence but that are appealing to the eye – many people are put off from using clunky 'aids'. It's been fantastic to work with Geoff and the Design Council, and help the idea come to life."
"I've been blown away by feedback from users" Rolandsen adds. "Enabling them to leave their house with confidence that they won't struggle to unlock their front door upon return is the biggest reward for me."
The following user feedback illustrates the benefit it is providing to people world-wide.
"Such a massive difference they have made, before I had to use two hands to open and lock doors, I can now do it with one hand and without any real effort. The pain has gone from 10 to 3. Thank you" – Keywing online customer.
Reduced hand dexterity is impacting a growing portion of society with research from the Arthritis Foundation showing one in three adults in the US are currently impacted (increasing to one in two over 65). Research shows that nearly half (44%) of arthritis sufferers have arthritis-attributable activity limitation2. Pain and difficulty undertaking daily tasks, such as locking and unlocking doors, is a key contributing factor to this alarming statistic.
Dr Anna Lowe, a chartered physiotherapist, believes The Keywing could play a key role in making these challenges easier to manage for people with weak grip or pain in their hands.
"As a physiotherapist I've worked with many people where keys and locks present a particular challenge because of the manual dexterity and strength required."
"The Keywing is a neat little device and could help to give individuals and their families and carers confidence and peace of mind and could make the difference between someone needing help to get in or out of their own home and being able to do it independently."
It is not only arthritis sufferers who will benefit from the Keywing. Feedback shows that it can provide a positive impact for the 126 million American adults who live with a musculoskeletal condition, and those with deteriorating hand strength caused by ageing.