Hane Roh


Ocarina: Lifelong Strength Management for Aging Population

Advised by Jock Herron (GSD) and Luba Greenwood (SEAS)

With an exponentially rising aging population, there are many individual health concerns for the population. Ocarina addresses a disease that affects almost half of the senior population called sarcopenia, which is a progressive loss of skeletal muscle strength and function associated with aging. Older adults with sarcopenia are at higher risk of serious injuries, increasing hospitalization and mortality rate. The current healthcare system is insufficient to provide effective and continuous care for sarcopenia. How can we manage this physiological inevitability by enabling aging populations for long-term autonomy?

In order to prevent or delay sarcopenia development, we need to maximize muscle in early life, maintain muscle in middle age, and minimize loss in older age. Ocarina guides users through their life course aging journey, helping them understand their strength status and continue accessible and optimized care. It provides an integrated process of measurement and treatment, involving multilevel social interventions to retain motivation. Across all weakening factors, this product empowers users to be aware of their own strength and take appropriate measures.

Hane Roh, MDE.
“Understand and Manage your Strength, Accessibly.”
Ocarina is a strength tracker and trainer that guides users through their life course aging journey, helping them understand their strength status and continue accessible and optimized care. Meeting clinical guidelines, Ocarina measures hand grip strength and provides analysis and personalized programs.
Hane Roh, MDE.
“Designed to be hand held”  

Inspired by the playful handheld music instrument, Ocarina comfortably fits in your hand. The playful pop orange color was intended to break the stigma of products for elderly. The soft rippled silicone and organic shape reflects ergonomics and usability for hand.
Hane Roh, MDE.
“Simple, Integrated process for Empowerment” 

Ocarina is an integrated process of measurement and treatment, engaging stakeholders in the loop. Ocarina provides an advantage across the service, cost, accessibility, and quality. Users simply measure their handgrip strength on a weekly basis, and the service will provide analysis, progress, and personalized daily programs, ranging in movements from stretches, isometric exercises, and resistance training.
Hane Roh, MDE.
How might we manage Sarcopenia, our physiological inevitability, to enable aging population for long term autonomy?  Sarcopenia is a progressive loss of muscle strength associated with aging, affecting almost 50% of the 60+.  Limiting balance, gait and ability to perform daily tasks, seniors suffer emotionally due to loss of independence. It’s an apparent socio economical problem, causing 4 times increased mortality rate, and $40 B annual hospitalization costs.
Hane Roh, MDE.
For early detection of Sarcopenia, hand dynamometers are widely used in clinics but they are unwieldy, heavy, costly and not suitable for everyday use. The Ocarina form was focused on functionality, grip usability, weight, and size. User testing helped receive ergonomic feedback as design progress. Technical feasibility was tested, selecting appropriate sensors for detecting hand pressure and showing data inputs with light indicator.